Generic Name: dimethyl fumarate (dye METH il FUE mar ate)
Brand Names: Tecfidera
Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on May 12, 2020.
What is Tecfidera?
Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) is a prescription medicine used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis in adults (including clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease).
Tecfidera is available as hard gelatin delayed-release capsules in two strengths containing either 120 mg or 240 mg of dimethyl fumarate.
It is not known if Tecfidera is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
Before taking and while you take Tecfidera, tell your doctor if you have or have had a low white blood cell counts or an infection.
Tecfidera may cause a serious viral infection of the brain that can lead to disability or death. Call your doctor right away if you have any change in your mental state, decreased vision, weakness on one side of your body, or problems with speech or walking. These symptoms may start gradually and get worse quickly.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Tecfidera if you have had a severe allergic reaction to dimethyl fumarate or diroximel fumarate (Vumerity).
To make sure Tecfidera is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
an active infection; or
low white blood cell (WBC) counts.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of dimethyl fumarate on the baby.
Tecfidera is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take Tecfidera?
Take Tecfidera exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.
Your doctor will perform blood tests to make sure you do not have conditions that would prevent you from safely using Tecfidera.
You may take Tecfidera with or without food. Taking the medicine with food may help prevent flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).
Swallow the capsule whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it.
While using this medicine, you will need frequent blood tests.
Store this medicine in the original container at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and light.
Tecfidera dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Multiple Sclerosis:
Initial dose: 120 mg orally twice a day for 7 days
Maintenance dose: 240 mg orally twice a day
Approved indication: The treatment of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
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 Tecfidera?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Tecfidera side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Tecfidera: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Dimethyl fumarate may cause a serious brain infection that can lead to disability or death. Call your doctor right away if you have problems with speech, thought, vision, or muscle movement. These symptoms may start gradually and get worse quickly.
Also call your doctor at once if you have:
signs of shingles - flu-like symptoms, tingly or painful blistering rash on one side of your body;
low white blood cell counts - fever, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing; or
liver problems - loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common Tecfidera side effects include:
redness, rash, itching; or
flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).
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.
What other drugs will affect Tecfidera?
Other drugs may interact with dimethyl fumarate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Tecfidera only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2020 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.01.
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