What is Tecfidera?
Tecfidera, formerly known as BG-12, is used for treating autoimmune diseases. Its generic name is dimethyl fumarate. This drug helps treat patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS).
Tecfidera MS is prescribed to individuals 18 years old and above.
Tecfidera mechanism of action
When absorbed into the bloodstream, this medicine works by activating Nrf2. Nrf2 is a pathway involved in the cellular immune response to oxidative stress. Dimethyl Fumarate neutralizes and counteracts the disturbance in the balance between the production of free radicals and antioxidant defenses, leading to lesser damage to your brain and spinal cord during relapse.
Also, this drug limits the activity of the immune system leading to reduced inflammatory action. As a result, this medication prevents cells from entering and attacking the central nervous system. Therefore, it relieves symptoms such as muscle stiffness, balance or coordination issues, or eye pain.
Dosage of Tecfidera
Tecfidera dosage and frequency vary from person to person. It depends on your current health status, age, and tolerance to treatment. This is available in delayed-release capsules of 120 mg and 240 mg.
The suggested starting dose for people with multiple sclerosis is 120 mg twice a day. This dose can be increased to 240 mg twice daily as a maintenance treatment after seven days.
Best way to use Tecfidera
Initially, read all drug guidelines and info thoroughly. Use the medication as recommended and as instructed. If there is anything that you do not understand and confuses you, do not hesitate to seek medical advice from a qualified professional.
As prescribed, take this medicine orally twice a day. You may take it at any time of the day without regard to food or on an empty stomach. Consume the whole pill without chewing or crushing the medication.
Changing the dosing and frequency of dimethyl fumarate is not recommended due to the increased risk of developing undesired side effects. Always consult your healthcare provider for any adjustments.
Tecfidera Side effects
The most common reported side effects in using this medication that is usually transitory and improves with time include:
- Stomach upset
- Flushing or redness
- Itching or rash
Stop taking this medicine and notify your doctor right away if you develop any of the following adverse reactions:
- Skin ulcers/sores
- Sore throat
- Troubled breathing
- Chest tightness
- Unusual bleeding
- Rapid heartbeat
- Viral infection symptoms: Flu-like symptoms, white patches or mouth sores, blisters in the trunk area, back and thigh pain
- Liver problems: loss of appetite, right-sided stomach pain, tiredness, yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark urine, clay-colored stool
Bear in mind that this is not the complete list of the possible side effects of this drug. Other unwanted side effects may occur.
Special warnings and precautions
Few things to keep in mind before starting this oral therapy:
If you have an active infection or a low white blood cell (WBC) count, be sure to inform your doctor. Doing so can keep you from aggravating your present medical condition.
Tell your doctor about your medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins, because drug interaction may occur.
Avoid using this medication if you have a known allergy to dimethyl, fumarate, or other components. When taking this drug, monitor for any allergic response you may encounter, such as skin rashes, hives, swelling of the face and lips, throat tightness, or difficulty breathing. You should seek medical assistance immediately when these signs and symptoms occur.
Watch out for signs of infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). These include body weakness, blurred vision, mood changes, etc. Worst case scenario can lead to death or severe disability.
Ensure to have your blood drawn regularly to monitor your WBC, as this drug can induce low WBC levels.
Remember, keep this medication out of reach of children. Store it carefully and protect it from direct sunlight.
How much does Tecfidera cost?
The price of Tecfidera is reasonable. Purchase this oral medicine on this online drugstore for fast and easy transactions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Compare Vumerity and Tecfidera?
When comparing Vumerity vs Tecfidera, both are indicated to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the former contains proximal fumarate, while the latter has dimethyl fumarate. Meanwhile, the initial dose of Vumerity is 231 mg twice daily and a maintenance dosage of 462 mg two times a day. On the other hand, 120 mg of Tecfidera is given twice daily as a starting dose and 240 mg capsule two times per day for a maintenance dosage.
When is the best time to take Tecfidera?
It is best to take Tecfidera with food to avoid flushing or redness.
Is Tecfidera safe for pregnant or nursing women?
If you are pregnant or a lactating mother, talk to your doctor before taking this drug. Ensure that before starting this therapy, the benefits should outweigh the risks.
When taking Tecfidera, how long does the flushing last?
The result varies from person to person. However, flushing occurs right after taking this medication and goes away several weeks after your body has adjusted to the medication.