1 What is Kalydeco?

Brand: Kalydeco

Generic: Ivacaftor

Kalydeco is a medication indicated for the treatment of certain cases of cystic fibrosis in adults and children at least 6 years old. Doctors prescribe Ivacaftor to treat cystic fibrosis patients with certain mutations in the CFTR gene, which comprises only 4% to 6% of cystic fibrosis cases.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition characterized by the excess buildup of sticky mucus in the lungs and frequent lung infections. Cystic fibrosis patients tend to suffer from symptoms for life. Ivacaftor work to improve lung function.

You can only use Ivacaftor after tests showed that you have the necessary gene mutations. Ivacaftor does not work on other mutations.

Ivacaftor is available in tablets and granules (for children) that are all taken by mouth. Ivacaftor requires a prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Kalydeco, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.

You must first undergo a blood exam so the doctor will know if Ivacaftor is good for you.

You cannot use Ivacaftor if you have allergies to it.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before receiving Ivacaftor. Ivacaftor is an FDA pregnancy category B drug, which makes it relatively safe for pregnant patients. Although it is not known if Ivacaftor is excreted in breast milk, call your doctor first before nursing a child when receiving the drug.

Tell the doctor all your health conditions before taking Ivacaftor. The doctor will need to know if you have problems with the kidneys and liver before prescribing Ivacaftor.

If you are receiving Ivacaftor, you must avoid eating grapefruit, Seville oranges, and grapefruit juice.

Ivacaftor may not be safe to patients less than two years old.

Ivacaftor is known to interact with several medications. You must tell all the medications you take before receiving Ivacaftor.

3 Proper Usage

To use Kalydeco properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Ivacaftor is usually taken every 12 hours or twice a day. Children ages 2 to 6 years old are given Ivacaftor granule packets taken once a day. The doctor will determine the dose of Ivacaftor.

It is recommended to take Ivacaftor with food that contains fat to improve absorption, such as

  • butter,
  • peanut butter,
  • eggs,
  • whole milk,
  • cheese pizza.

For small children, Ivacaftor granules can be mixed with a teaspoon of liquid or soft food such as

  • yogurt,
  • applesauce,
  • water,
  • fruit juice
  • milk.

Then, high-fat food items can be given after.

If you missed a dose of Ivacaftor, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the regular dosage.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Kalydeco, there are some precautions you must take.

The doctor will schedule you to regular clinic visits and lab tests while you receive Ivacaftor. This is important to determine if the medicine is working and check for early symptoms of adverse effects.

Ivacaftor can impair your thinking and reflexes, which is important when you do activities like driving or operating machinery. Be careful in doing such activities after using the medication.

Be careful to avoid consuming grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and Seville oranges when receiving Ivacaftor. These fruits can react with Ivacaftor and cause side effects. Even use of these fruits as flavoring or garnishes can cause adverse effects, so be careful on the foods you eat.

Avoid taking any drug while receiving Ivacaftor to avoid drug interactions.

Only take the drugs approved by your doctor.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Kalydeco.

Note the following symptoms and call the doctor if these occur. Ivacaftor can cause severe side effects such as:

  • Severe allergic reaction symptoms such as hives, itching, skin rash, difficulty breathing, swelling of the mouth, lips, and tongue
  • Symptoms of liver problem such as nausea, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, severe tiredness, jaundice, passing out dark urine and clay-colored stools
  • Symptoms of low blood sugar such as hunger, headache, weakness, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness and feeling jittery
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Eye pain and vision changes

Ivacaftor can cause minor side effects that are not harmful to health:

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