pemoline, Cylert (cont.)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

DOSING: Pemoline should be taken in the morning. It may take up to three weeks to observe an effect. Doses should be reduced if poor kidney function exists.

Careful dosing should be done when pemoline is used because of a serious risk for liver toxicity and/or liver failure. Blood tests are necessary to evaluate patients for liver damage before and during pemoline therapy.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: There are no adequate studies of drug interactions with pemoline. Reports suggest that pemoline may decrease the effectiveness of drugs that are used to manage seizures such as phenytoin (Dilantin) or carbamazepine (Tegretol). It is not clear if there are interactions between pemoline and alcohol.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of pemoline in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is unknown if pemoline is excreted in breast milk.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of pemoline are insomnia and anorexia (decreased appetite). A rapid heart rate may occur if large doses of pemoline are taken. Rash and aplastic anemia have occurred rarely with pemoline. Abdominal discomfort, nausea and diarrhea may occur during therapy with pemoline.

Pemoline may cause serious liver toxicity and/or failure. Blood tests should be done before and during treatment to monitor for liver toxicity. Pemoline may suppress normal growth in children, though this effect has not been established clearly. It also may exacerbate behavioral disturbances and thought disorders in psychotic children. Pemoline, as well as other stimulants, may precipitate motor and vocal tics and Tourette's syndrome, but these side effects are likely to be transient.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2005

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