Generic Name: dextromethorphan and quinidine (DEX troe me THOR fan and KWIN i deen)
Brand Names: Nuedexta
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 29, 2019.
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 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.
You should not use Nuedexta 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.
Do not use Nuedexta if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.
You also should not take Nuedexta if you are also taking mefloquine, quinidine, or quinine, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction or serious medical problem caused by taking any of these medications.
Some medicines can interact with Nuedexta and should not be used at the same time. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with 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.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take Nuedexta if you are allergic to dextromethorphan or quinidine, or if you have:
a history of life-threatening heart rhythm disorder;
a serious heart condition called "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);
a history of Long QT syndrome; or
if you are also taking mefloquine, quinidine, or quinine.
Do not use Nuedexta if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others. After you stop taking Nuedexta, you must wait at least 14 days before you start taking an MAOI.
You also should not take Nuedexta if you have ever had any of the following problems caused by taking mefloquine, quinidine, or quinine:
low levels of platelets in your blood;
bone marrow suppression; or
lupus-like symptoms (joint pain, fever, headaches, numbness or cold feeling in your fingers or toes).
Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with Nuedexta. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you use any of the following drugs:
certain antidepressants--amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine;
certain heart rhythm medications--amiodarone, flecainide, procainamide, propafenone; or
certain medicines to treat psychiatric disorders--chlorpromazine, haloperidol, perphenazine, pimozide, quetiapine, risperidone, thioridazine.
To make sure Nuedexta is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);
heart disease, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease;
slow heartbeats or any type of heart rhythm disorder;
bladder obstruction or other urination problems; or
blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines).
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 this medication.
It is not known whether dextromethorphan and quinidine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give Nuedexta to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.
How should I take Nuedexta?
Take Nuedexta exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
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. Your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG).
Store 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, hearing loss, vomiting, fast or irregular heart rate, weak or shallow breathing, or seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid?
This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. 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 unwanted side 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:
headache with chest pain and severe dizziness or fainting;
fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest;
easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);
pain or burning when you urinate;
lupus-like symptoms--joint pain or swelling with fever, headaches, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, skin sores, butterfly-shaped skin rash on your cheeks and nose, and numbness, cold feeling, or pale appearance of your fingers or toes;
liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
high levels of serotonin in the body--agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting.
Common Nuedexta side effects may include:
diarrhea, gas, vomiting;
swelling in your hands or feet;
dizziness, weakness; or
flu symptoms, cough.
Side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, and confusion may be more likely in older adults.
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.
Nuedexta dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Pseudobulbar Affect:
dextromethorphan-quinidine 20 mg-10 mg:
Starting dose: one capsule daily by mouth for 7 days.
Maintenance dose: After 7 days, 1 capsule every 12 hours.
What other drugs will affect Nuedexta?
Many drugs can interact with Nuedexta. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with Nuedexta, especially:
an antibiotic--azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, pentamidine, telithromycin;
antifungal medicine--fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole;
anti-malaria medication--chloroquine, halofantrine;
cancer medicine--arsenic trioxide, vandetanib;
HIV or AIDS medicines--atazanavir, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir,
medicine to treat depression or mental illness--citalopram, escitalopram, nefazodone, pimozide, ziprasidone; or
heart or blood pressure medication--diltiazem, disopyramide, dofetilide, ibutilide, sotalol, verapamil.
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with Nuedexta. 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.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about Nuedexta (dextromethorphan / quinidine)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
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- Drug class: miscellaneous central nervous system agents
- FDA Alerts (1)
- FDA Approval History