Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) is a prescription-based medication used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a chronic disorder that affects a person’s central nervous system and causes inflammation.
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Tecfidera belongs to the class of drugs known as fumaric acid esters and is available as a capsule or tablet. The drug is administered orally, either twice daily with food or as a single dose with food.
Tecfidera can help reduce the relapse rate of MS and its associated symptoms, such as muscle weakness and impaired coordination. It can also help reduce the severity of flares in Crohn’s disease.
However, the following patients are advised not to take this drug:
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding mothers
- Patients with a history of liver disease or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
It is also important to note that Tecfidera can cause side effects such as flushing and gastrointestinal upset. It is crucial to consult a doctor before starting this therapy to ensure its safety and effectiveness. Therapy should also be closely monitored.
What Is Tecfidera?
Tecfidera is a chemical compound used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). It is an immunosuppressant medicine that helps reduce the number and severity of MS relapses.
What Is Tecfidera Used To Treat?
Tecfidera is a prescription drug for treating multiple sclerosis (MS) and its associated symptoms. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder that affects the central nervous system, such as the brain and spinal cord.
It can cause various symptoms, such as:
- Muscle weakness
- Vision impairments
- Difficulty with balance and coordination
Tecfidera works by decreasing inflammation in the body and reducing the symptoms of MS.
In addition to its use in treating MS, Tecfidera has also been studied for its potential to treat other inflammatory conditions and illnesses. Studies have shown that it may effectively reduce the symptoms of psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, and other inflammatory bowel diseases.
How Does Tecfidera Work?
Tecfidera targets certain cell pathways involved in inflammation and increases the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response. It also blocks an enzyme in the body that helps to regulate the body’s inflammatory response. Thus, the drug reduces inflammation.
Tecfidera may also help protect nerve cells from damage and promote remyelination. This is important for the health of neurons and prevents their destruction.
How Is Tecfidera Used?
Tecfidera is an anti-inflammatory immunosuppressant organic compound. It is available in the form of delayed-release capsules.
- The capsules should be swallowed whole with a full glass of water.
- Do not open or chew the capsule.
- It is best to take Tecfidera with food to reduce the risk of stomach upset.
- It is essential to continue taking Tecfidera even if you do not feel any improvement immediately. It may take several months for the medication to show its full effect.
- Most importantly, take dimethyl fumarate as prescribed or recommended by your doctor. Avoid changing the dosage or stopping the medication without consulting your physician.
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Tecfidera is generally well-tolerated, but it can cause some side effects. These side effects are classified below:
Common or mild side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
Rare side effects include:
- Chest pain
- Rapid heart rate
- Allergic reactions
- Liver damage
- Trouble breathing
The moderate side effects include:
- Loss of vision
- Rapid heart rate
- Allergic reactions
Severe side effects of the drug are:
- Liver damage
It is essential to discuss any potential side effects with your doctor before beginning treatment. Follow all instructions on storing and disposing of the drug.
Tecfidera is available in the following dosing strengths:
- 120 mg
- 240 mg
The dose of Tecfidera depends on the patient’s age, weight, and medical conditions. However, below are the recommended usual doses.
Dose for Multiple Sclerosis (MS):
Starting dose: At first, 120 mg delayed-release capsules should be given twice daily. After 7 days, the doctor can increase the dose.
Maintenance dose: After the first week, Tecfidera will be maintained at 240 mg twice orally daily for the recommended duration.
For patients who cannot take 240 mg of the drug, the dose will be maintained at 120 mg or as prescribed by the doctor.
The cost of 14 capsules of Tecfidera is about $2,103 per pack. The estimated yearly cost of the drug can go up to $83,000. However, the price can vary according to the pharmacy and the patient’s condition.
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How long does it take for Tecfidera to start working?
The effects of Tecfidera can start to appear within a few weeks of treatment. The effects of the drug can vary from patient to patient. In some patients, it may appear earlier, while in others, it can take some time according to the body’s physiology.
Is Tecfidera safe to take on a long-term basis?
Yes, it is generally safe to take on a long-term basis. However, it is crucial to monitor for any side effects.
Who should not take this drug?
Tecfidera should not be taken by pregnant and breastfeeding women or people with certain pre-existing medical conditions.
How is Tecfidera taken?
Tecfidera is taken orally as a capsule once or twice daily, depending on the patient’s condition. It is swallowed whole with a full glass of water.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose as scheduled.
What is the mechanism of action?
Tecfidera is thought to work by modulating the activity of the immune system and decreasing inflammation in the central nervous system.
Does this drug interact with other medications?
Yes, Tecfidera can interact with other medications. Therefore, consult your doctor and pharmacist about all of the medications you are taking before starting the medication.
Tecfidera, also known as dimethyl fumarate, is a prescription-based medication for treating multiple sclerosis and its associated symptoms.
The drug works by suppressing the inflammation in the body and can be used for psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, and other inflammatory bowel diseases.
The starting dose is 120 mg and can go up to 240 mg twice daily as prescribed by your doctor. It is best for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers to avoid this medication.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about your medical condition prior to starting any new treatment. AmeriPharma Specialty Care assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result, nor is it responsible for the reliability of the content.
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Dr. Saba Rassouli, PharmD was born and raised in Iran. She received her pharmacy degree from Marshall B. Ketchum University in 2022, where she graduated cum laude. The most rewarding part of her job is having the opportunity to care for each patient as if they were family and hearing about how happy and satisfied they are with the services provided by AmeriPharma. In her free time, she likes to go on walks, read books, and try different restaurants and foods.