Tecfidera

1 What is Tecfidera?

Brand: Tecfidera

Generic: Dimethyl Fumarate

Tecfidera is used to treat the relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. This medication will not cure MS, but it may slow some disabling effects and decrease the number of relapses from the disease.

This medication is only available with your doctor’s prescription. This medication is available in the following forms:

  • Delayed Release Capsule

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Tecfidera, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. This is a decision that you and your doctor will make together.

For this medication, there are many things that need to be considered:

Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other medications. It is also important to inform your doctor of any non-medicine allergies such as foods, dyes, preservatives or animals.

Pediatric: No appropriate studies have been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of this medication in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric: No appropriate studies have been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of this medication in elderly patients. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Pregnancy: This medication is listed as Pregnancy Category C. This means that animal studies have shown an adverse effect and no studies have been performed on pregnant women OR there are no adequate studies on pregnant animals and pregnant women.

Breastfeeding: There are no up-to-date studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication while breastfeeding. Weigh the potential risks with the benefits before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions: Certain medications should not be used together. However, in certain cases, two medications may be used together, even if an interaction might occur.

In these cases, your doctor may want to change your dose or take other precautions. When taking this medication, it is important that you inform your doctor if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Other Interactions: Certain medications should not be used while eating, or while eating certain foods in case of negative interactions. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medications may also cause negative interactions. Talk with your doctor about the use of your medication with food, alcohol or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems: Pre-existing medical problems may affect the use of this medication.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Tecfidera requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. Do not take more, less or for a longer or shorter period of time than your doctor tells you.

This medication comes with a patient information brochure. It is very important that your read this information. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Swallow the delayed-release capsule whole. Do not crush or chew it. Do not sprinkle the contents of the capsule on food. Take this medication with or without food. You may have less skin flushing if you take the medication with food.

Dosing: Different patients will be given a different dose of this medication based on the strength of the medication. The number of doses you take each day, the time between doses and the length of time you take this medication depends on the reason you are taking this medication.

The following information only includes the average dose of this medication. If your dose is different, do not change it without first speaking to your doctor.

  • Adults - Start with 120mg twice a day. After 7 days, your doctor will increase the dose to 240mg twice a day.
  • Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose: If you miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Do not double dose.

Storage: Store this medication in a closed container at room temperature. Keep it away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.

Keep our of the reach of children. Do not keep expired medication or medication you no longer need. Ask your doctor how to dispose of any medication you do not use.

Store the medication in the original container. Once you have opened a bottle, throw away any unused medication after 90 days.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Tecfidera, there are some precautions you must take. It is very important that your doctor checks in with you often while you are receiving this medication to make sure that it is working properly.

This medication may lower the number of white blood cells in your blood. This may increase your chance of getting an infection. If you can, avoid people with infections.

Inform your doctor immediately if you have a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain or painful or difficult urination.

This medication may cause skin flushing. Inform your doctor immediately if you have warmth, redness, itching or a burning sensation in your face, neck, arms or upper chest while using this medication.

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Tecfidera to avoid unwanted potential side effects. A medication may produce unwanted effects along with the intended effects. Although not all of these side-effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side-effects:

More common:

  • A cough or hoarseness
  • Feeling of warmth
  • Fever or chills
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest

Some side effects that may occur do not normally need medical attention. These may leave as your body becomes accustomed to treatment. Ask your doctor about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Talk to your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome, or if you have questions:

More common:

Less common:

Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any other side effects. Ask your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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