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dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera): Facts About Side Effects

What is dimethyl fumarate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Dimethyl fumarate is an oral disease-modifying
agent used for treating relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Teriflunomide (Aubagio), Interferon beta-1a
(Avonex), interferon beta-1b (Betaseron), glatiramer acetate (Copaxone), interferon beta-1b
(Gilenya), mitoxantrone (Novantrone), interferon beta-1a (Rebif), and
(Tysabri) are other disease modifying agents for multiple sclerosis.
Although the exact mechanism of how dimethyl fumarate works is unknown, it is
thought to have protective effects on the nervous system and anti-inflammatory
properties. Dimethyl fumarate prevents the immune cells from attacking the
central nervous system. Dimethyl fumarate reduces the number of annual relapses
rate. The FDA approved dimethyl fumarate in March 2013.

What brand names are available for dimethyl fumarate?


Is dimethyl fumarate available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for dimethyl fumarate?


What are the side effects of dimethyl fumarate?

The most common side effects associated with dimethyl fumarate
treatment are flushing, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. A decrease in
white blood cell count also occurs. Patients should check their baseline white
blood cell count or have a recently completed blood cell count (CBC) (within 6
months) before starting treatment. Increase in
liver enzymes has also been
reported in clinical studies.

What is the dosage for dimethyl fumarate?

The recommended starting dose is one 120 mg capsule orally twice
daily with or without food. After 7 days, the dose should be increased to the
recommended maintenance dose of 240 mg twice daily. Dimethyl fumarate capsules
should not be crushed, chewed, or sprinkled on food. Dosing should only begin
after a recently completed (within 6 months) normal CBC (complete blood count).

Which drugs or supplements interact with dimethyl fumarate?

: No potential drug interactions were identified in clinical


What kind of disease is multiple sclerosis?
See Answer

Is dimethyl fumarate safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

It is not known whether Dimethyl fumarate is secreted into
breast milk.

What else should I know about dimethyl fumarate?

What preparations of dimethyl fumarate are available?

Delayed-release capsules: 120 mg and 240 mg

How should I keep dimethyl fumarate stored?

Capsules should be stored at 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). The
capsules should be stored in the original container and protected from light.


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