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deflazacort

Generic Name: deflazacort (de FLAZ a kort)
Brand Name: Emflaza

What is deflazacort?

Deflazacort is a steroid that reduces inflammation in the body.

Deflazacort is used to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy in adults and children who are at least 5 years old.

Deflazacort is not a cure for muscular dystrophy, but this medicine may improve muscle strength and slow the progression of disability.

Deflazacort may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about deflazacort?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking deflazacort?

You should not use deflazacort if you are allergic to it.

To make sure deflazacort is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • any type of bacterial, fungal, or viral infection;

  • high blood pressure, heart disease, or a history of stroke or blood clot;

  • fluid retention;

  • diabetes;

  • cataracts, glaucoma, or herpes infection of the eyes;

  • a nerve-muscle disorder, such as myasthenia gravis;

  • liver disease (especially hepatitis B or C);

  • a stomach or intestinal disorder;

  • a colostomy or ileostomy;

  • low bone mineral density; or

  • a problem with your thyroid, pituitary gland, or adrenal gland.

Long-term use of steroids may lead to bone loss (osteoporosis), especially if you smoke, if you do not exercise, if you do not get enough vitamin D or calcium in your diet, or if you have a family history of osteoporosis.

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

Deflazacort can pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

Deflazacort can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.

Deflazacort is not approved for use by anyone younger than 5 years old.

How should I take deflazacort?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take deflazacort with or without food.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

To make swallowing easier, you may crush the deflazacort tablet and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine using only the dosing syringe provided. If you do not have this dosing syringe, ask your pharmacist for one.

To improve the flavor of deflazacort liquid, you may mix your measured dose with 3 to 4 ounces of milk or fruit juice (but not grapefruit juice). Drink this mixture right away and do not save it for later.

Deflazacort can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to get sick from being around others who are ill. Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with deflazacort.

Call your doctor if you have signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches, sweating, mouth sores, skin sores, warmth or redness, vomiting, diarrhea, painful urination).

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent blood tests. Your blood pressure, vision, and bone density may also need to be checked.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight. Deflazacort doses are based on weight, and any changes may affect the dose.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using deflazacort.

You should not stop using deflazacort suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Throw away any deflazacort liquid that has not been used within 1 month after you first opened the bottle.

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 deflazacort?

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with deflazacort and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products while taking deflazacort.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medicine.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using deflazacort, or you could develop a serious infection. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Deflazacort side effects

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

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with deflazacort. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat;

  • sores or white patches in your mouth or throat;

  • skin sores, warmth or redness under the skin;

  • stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody or tarry stools, rectal irritation;

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • night sweats; or

  • rapid weight loss.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • unusual changes in mood or behavior, severe depression, trouble sleeping;

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling in your hands or feet;

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;

  • possible signs of long-term steroid use--weight gain (especially in your face or your upper back and torso); unusual bruising, slow wound healing, thinning skin, acne, increased body hair; weight changes; changes in menstrual periods; feeling tired, anxious, or irritable; or

  • signs of low adrenal gland hormones--worsening tiredness or muscle weakness, feeling light-headed, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and weight loss.

Common side effects may include:

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough;

  • increased growth of body hair;

  • increased appetite, weight gain; or

  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

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.

Deflazacort dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Muscular Dystrophy:

0.9 mg/kg orally once a day

Comments:
-If tablets are used, round up to the nearest possible dose
-If oral suspension is used, round up to the nearest tenth of a milliliter (mL).
-If this drug is administered for more than a few days, do not abruptly discontinue.
-Dose modifications are recommended for use with CYP450 3A4 inhibitors and inducers (see dose adjustments).

Use: Treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Muscular Dystrophy:

5 years or older: 0.9 mg/kg orally once a day

Comments:
-If tablets are used, round up to the nearest possible dose
-If oral suspension is used, round up to the nearest tenth of a milliliter (mL).
-If this drug is administered for more than a few days, do not abruptly discontinue.
-Dose modifications are recommended for use with CYP450 3A4 inhibitors and inducers (see dose adjustments).

Use: Treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

What other drugs will affect deflazacort?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • insulin or oral diabetes medicine;

  • thyroid medication;

  • St. John's wort;

  • an antibiotic, antifungal medicine;

  • an antidepressant;

  • antiviral medicine (such as medicine to treat hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS);

  • heart or blood pressure medicine;

  • seizure medication;

  • tuberculosis medication; or

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with deflazacort, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about deflazacort.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. 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. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.01.

Date modified: October 13, 2017
Last reviewed: April 16, 2017

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