Sodium Phenylbutyrate, also known and sold under the trade names of Buphenyl and SPB11, is a medication that is used along with a certain diet in a long-term diet of a certain inherited disorder, known as urea cycle disorder.
It is considered to work by removing a certain chemical, known as ammonia, from the body. This medication is available in the forms of a tablet and a powder.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before the decision to start the treatment with this medication is made, it is essential to get informed about the expected beneficial effects, as well as, about the potential risks and side effects.
For this decision to be made, the beneficial effects must outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision that you and your doctor, together, will have to make.
During the consultations, it is important to inform the doctor about:
Allergic reactions – Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or not prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.
Pediatric – Proper studies done have confirmed that due to the Sodium phenylbutyrate toxicity, this medication is not recommended to be used in children weighing under 20 kg (44 pounds).
Geriatric – There are no studies done that would confirm if there are any specific age-related risks and side effects when this medication has been used in geriatric patients.
Pregnancy – Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. Proper studies done have confirmed that due to the Sodium phenylbutyrate toxicity, this medication must not be used during pregnancy.
Breastfeeding – Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in nursing mothers. It is unknown if it is extracted in the milk, or how would it affect the infant.
This medication is not recommended to be used in nursing mothers. However, it could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Drug interactions – Inform the doctor if you are using any other medications, prescribed or not prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with others, due to the possibility that certain interactions could occur.
However, sometimes, the doctor may decide to use a certain combination, including two or more, to treat your condition if he or she considers that combination to prove as beneficial regarding your condition.
Other interactions – Certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with the specific type of food, tobacco, and alcohol. Because of this, it is essential to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific type of diet and discontinue your use of tobacco and alcohol during the treatment with this medication.
Other medical problems – Inform the doctor if there are any other medical problems and conditions present from the past or at the moment. Especially, inform the doctor if there are any of the following conditions present – edema, heart disease, heart failure, kidney or liver disease.
For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. This medication is available in the form of a tablet and a powder, for oral route.
Swallow the tablet whole, with or without food, as directed by your doctor. Do not break, crush or chew the tablet.
The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by the doctor and based on your condition and the prognosis of the treatment.
In order to get the most beneficial effects from its use, remember to use it regularly. If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
Do not double to catch up. This medication is harmful in case of an overdose. If an overdose is suspected, contact the doctor right away for further directions.
4 Precautions to Take
Visit your doctor regularly, at your scheduled appointments, so that he or she could track your condition and make any adjustments if needed.
These adjustments may refer to the dose – e.g. the doctor may decide to increase or decrease the dose or to the treatment itself – e.g. the doctor may decide to discontinue your treatment if there are any serious side effects present, that would worsen your condition, or if your condition does not improve.
Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or not prescribed. This is important because this product may contain inactive substances that could cause certain interactions to occur.
Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. This medication is not recommended to be used during pregnancy, due to the toxicity of Sodium phenylbutyrate.
At least two proven forms of birth control should be used during the treatment with this medication to help prevent pregnancy. Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding.
This medication is not recommended to be used in nursing mothers, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in nursing mothers.
This medication must not be used in children weighing under 20 kg (44 pounds) due to Sodium phenylbutyrate toxicity. This medication may cause drowsiness to occur.
Avoid driving and any other activities that require alertness during the treatment with this medication.
5 Potential Side Effects
Along with its expected beneficial effects, there are potential side effects that could occur. These side effects do not occur in all patients, also they could be mild or more serious.
However, it is essential to get informed about the potential side effects os that you would be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor as soon as possible for further directions.
Common side effects – loss of appetite, or menstrual changes. These are common side effects which are not considered as serious. However, if their presence persists, or worsens, inform the doctor as soon as possible.
Serious side effects – drowsiness, easy/unexplained bruising/bleeding, fast/pounding heartbeat, mood changes, signs of infection, and signs of metabolic imbalance. These are serious side effects whose presence must be reported to the doctor as soon as possible.
A very serious allergic reaction to this medication is not common. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, inform the doctor right away – skin rash, itching/swelling of the face/tongue/hands/feet, trouble breathing and severe dizziness.
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