Generic Name: dextromethorphan and quinidine (DEX troe meth OR fan and KWIN i deen)
Brand Names: Nuedexta
What is Nuedexta?
Nuedexta contains a combination of dextromethorphan and quinidine. Dextromethorphan affects the signals in the brain that trigger cough reflex and is generally used as a cough suppressant.
Quinidine affects the way that the heart beats and is generally used to in people with certain heart rhythm disorders.
Nuedexta is used to treat involuntary outbursts of crying or laughing in people with certain neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease).
Nuedexta may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Nuedexta
You should not take Nuedexta if you are also taking quinidine (Quin-G), quinine (Qualaquin), or mefloquine (Lariam), or if you have ever had an allergic reaction or serious medical problem caused by taking any of these medications. You should not use Nuedexta if you are allergic to dextromethorphan or quinidine, or if you have heart failure, a serious heart condition called "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker), or a history of Long QT syndrome or life-threatening heart rhythm disorder.
Before you take Nuedexta, tell your doctor if you have slow heartbeats or any other type of heart rhythm disorder, an electrolyte imbalance, bladder or bowel obstruction, myasthenia gravis, or a family history of Long QT syndrome.
There are many other drugs that can cause serious or life threatening medical problems if you take them together with Nuedexta. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Before taking Nuedexta
You should not take Nuedexta if you are also taking quinidine (Quin-G), quinine (Qualaquin), or mefloquine (Lariam), or if you have ever had hepatitis, low levels of platelets in your blood, bone marrow depression, lupus-like syndrome, or an allergic reaction caused by taking any of these medications. You should not use Nuedexta if you are allergic to dextromethorphan or quinidine, or if you have:
a history of life-threatening heart rhythm disorder;
a history of Long QT syndrome; or
a serious heart condition called "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker).
Do not use Nuedexta if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.
After you stop taking Nuedexta, you must wait at least 14 days before you start taking an MAOI.
There are many other drugs that can cause serious or life threatening medical problems if you take them together with Nuedexta. The following drugs should not be used while you are taking Nuedexta:
an anti-malaria drug called chloroquine (Aralen);
certain antidepressants: amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), clomipramine (Anafranil), or desipramine (Norpramin);
certain heart rhythm medications: quinidine (Quin-G), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), or propafenone, (Rythmol); or
certain medicines to treat psychiatric disorders: chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), pimozide (Orap), or thioridazine (Mellaril).
If you cannot avoid taking any of the medicines listed above, your heart function may need to be tested on a regular basis while you are taking Nuedexta. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.
To make sure you can safely take Nuedexta, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
a family history of Long QT syndrome;
an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);
slow heartbeats or any type of heart rhythm disorder;
bladder obstruction or other urination problems; or
a bowel obstruction or intestinal disorder.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Nuedexta will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Nuedexta. It is not known whether dextromethorphan or quinidine pass into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not give Nuedexta to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.
See also: Nuedexta pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
How should I take Nuedexta?
Take Nuedexta exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Nuedexta is usually started at a dose of 1 capsule per day for 7 days. After the first week you will take 1 capsule every 12 hours. Follow your doctor's instructions. Do not take more than 2 capsules in a 24-hour period.
You may take Nuedexta with or without food.
Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with Nuedexta. To be sure the medicine not causing harmful effects, your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). This machine measures electrical activity of the heart. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store Nuedexta at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose can cause severe dizziness, confusion, double vision, ringing in your ears, vomiting, rapid heart rate, weak or shallow breathing, a dazed feeling, or seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking Nuedexta?
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Nuedexta and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cough or cold medication. Dextromethorphan is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much dextromethorphan. Check the label to see if a medicine contains dextromethorphan (Delsym, Robitussin Maximum Strength, Vicks 44, and others).
Nuedexta side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Nuedexta: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Nuedexta and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
pain or burning when you urinate;
fever, chills, flu symptoms, nausea, vomiting, feeling light-headed;
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting; or
joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, unusual thoughts or behavior, and/or seizure (convulsions).
Less serious Nuedexta side effects may include:
diarrhea, gas, mild stomach pain;
swelling in your hands or feet.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Nuedexta side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Nuedexta?
Before taking Nuedexta tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);
narcotic cough medicine (codeine or dihydrocodeine);
ADHD medication such as atomoxetine (Strattera), dextroamphetamine (Adderall), methamphetamine (Desoxyn), methylphenidate (Ritalin, Daytrana, Metadate, Concerta);
an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), citalopram (Celexa), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), duloxetine (Cymbalta), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Symbyax), nortriptyline (Pamelor), nefazodone, paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), or venlafaxine (Effexor);
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), doxycycline (Doryx, Oracea, Periostat, Vibramycin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), metronidazole (Flagyl), norfloxacin (Noroxin), telithromycin (Ketek), or tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap);
antifungal medicine such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), miconazole (Oravig), or voriconazole (Vfend);
cancer medicine such as doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Doxil), lomustine (CeeNU), tamoxifen (Soltamox);
heart or blood pressure medication such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), betaxolol (Kerlone), captopril (Capoten), carvedilol (Coreg), diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), flecainide (Tambocor), labetalol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Dutoprol, Lopressor, Toprol), mexilitene (Mexitil), nicardipine (Cardene), pindolol (Visken), propranolol (Inderal), timolol (Blocadren), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others;
HIV/AIDS medicine such as atazanavir (Reyataz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), efavirenz (Sustiva, Atripla), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), saquinavir (Invirase), or ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra); or
pain medication such as codeine (Tylenol #3), hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin, Vicoprofen), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), or tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet).
This list is not complete and there are many other drugs that can interact with Nuedexta. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.
More Nuedexta resources
Compare Nuedexta with other medications
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Nuedexta.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Nuedexta only for the indication prescribed.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.02. Revision Date: 2012-02-14, 4:36:02.