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Generic Name: eliglustat (EL i GLOO stat)
Brand Names: Cerdelga

Medically reviewed on November 9, 2017

What is Cerdelga?

Cerdelga (eliglustat) reduces the formation of a certain protein in the body in people with type 1 Gaucher disease.

Gaucher disease is a genetic condition in which the body lacks the enzyme needed to break down certain fatty materials (lipids). Lipids can build up in the body, causing symptoms such as easy bruising or bleeding, weakness, anemia, bone or joint pain, enlarged liver or spleen, or weakened bones that are easily fractured.

Cerdelga is used to treat mild to moderate type 1 Gaucher disease in adults. It is used only if a specific liver enzyme (2D6) in your body breaks down or metabolizes drugs at a certain rate.

Cerdelga may improve the condition of the liver, spleen, bones, and blood cells in people with Type I Gaucher disease. However, this medicine is not a cure for this condition.

Important information

You should not use Cerdelga if you have severe liver or kidney disease.

Cerdelga can cause a serious heart problem, especially if you use certain other medicines at the same time. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use. Some drugs can raise or lower your blood levels of eliglustat, which may cause side effects or make eliglustat less effective. This medicine can also affect blood levels of certain other drugs, making them less effective or increasing side effects.

Cerdelga side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Cerdelga: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • sudden dizziness (like you might pass out); or

  • fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest.

Common Cerdelga side effects may include:

  • diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain;

  • headache;

  • back pain; or

  • pain in your arms or legs.

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: Side effects (in more detail)

Before taking this medicine

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can raise or lower your blood levels of eliglustat, which may cause side effects or make Cerdelga less effective. Cerdelga can also affect blood levels of certain other drugs, making them less effective or increasing side effects.

Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you use any of the following drugs:

  • antifungal medicine;

  • tuberculosis medicine;

  • seizure medicine;

  • heart or blood pressure medications;

  • an antidepressant; or

  • medicine to treat a mental illness.

You should not use Cerdelga if you are allergic to eliglustat, or if you have:

  • severe liver disease; or

  • severe kidney disease.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • long QT syndrome or other heart rhythm disorder;

  • heart disease or a heart attack;

  • liver disease; or

  • kidney disease.

It is not known whether Cerdelga will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether eliglustat passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Cerdelga is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take Cerdelga?

Take Cerdelga exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Your doctor will perform a genotype blood test to make sure eliglustat is the right treatment for you.

If you switched to Cerdelga from another enzyme replacement medicine, wait at least 24 hours after your last dose of the other medicine before you start taking this medicine.

Cerdelga is usually taken 1 or 2 times per day, based on the results of your genotype test. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

You may take the capsule with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.

Do not crush, open, or dissolve a capsule. Swallow the capsule whole.

Cerdelga can cause a serious heart problem. Your heart function may be checked with an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG) before you take this medicine.

Use this medicine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Cerdelga dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Gaucher Disease:

CYP450 2D6 Extensive metabolizers (EMs) and Intermediate Metabolizers (IMs): 84 mg orally twice a day
CYP450 2D6 Poor Metabolizers (PMs): 84 mg orally once a day
EMs and IMs taking strong or moderate CYP450 2D6 inhibitors: 84 mg orally once a day
EMs taking strong or moderate CYP450 3A inhibitors: 84 mg orally once a day

Comments: It is recommended to establish the CYP450 2D6 genotype of each patient using an FDA-cleared test before starting treatment.

Use: Long-term treatment of patients with Gaucher disease type 1 who are CYP450 2D6 extensive metabolizers, intermediate metabolizers, or poor metabolizers.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

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.

What should I avoid while taking Cerdelga?

Do not take an herbal supplement containing St. John's wort at the same time you are taking Cerdelga.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with eliglustat and cause unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products while taking this medicine.

What other drugs will affect Cerdelga?

Cerdelga can cause a serious heart problem, especially if you use certain medicines at the same time, such as antibiotics, antifungal medicine, antidepressants, anti-malaria medicine, asthma inhalers, antipsychotic medicine, cancer medicine, certain HIV/AIDS medicine, heart or blood pressure medicine, or medicine to prevent vomiting. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with eliglustat. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Cerdelga only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.