- What is dimethyl fumarate, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- 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?
- What is the dosage for dimethyl fumarate?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with dimethyl fumarate?
- Is dimethyl fumarate safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about dimethyl fumarate?
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 (Extavia), fingolimod (Gilenya), mitoxantrone (Novantrone), interferon beta-1a (Rebif), and natalizumab (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 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 studies.
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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Related Disease Conditions
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disorder in which brain and spinal cord nerve cells become demyelinated. This damage results in symptoms that may include numbness, weakness, vertigo, paralysis, and involuntary muscle contractions. Different forms of MS can follow variable courses from relatively benign to life-threatening. MS is treated with disease-modifying therapies. Some MS symptoms can be treated with medications.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and Treatments
Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms vary from person to person and can last for days to months without periods of remission. Symptoms of MS include sexual problems and problems with the bowel, bladder, eyes, muscles, speech, swallowing, brain, and nervous system. The early symptoms and signs of multiple sclerosis usually start between ages 20-40. MS in children, teens, and those over age 40 is rare. Treatment options for multiple sclerosis vary depending on the type and severity of symptoms. Medications may be prescribed to manage MS symptoms.
Is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Contagious?
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a degenerative disease of the covering around the nerves in the central nervous system (CNS). Researchers and doctors don't know the exact cause, but many theorize that it may be due to environmental triggers, an autoimmune disease, and viruses (infections). Symptoms and signs of MS include vision changes, paralysis, vertigo, heat intolerance, slurred speech, sexual dysfunction, and urinary incontinence (the inability to urinate). There's no vaccine or cure for MS, but the progression and symptoms of the disease can be treated.
Alternative Treatment (CAM) for MS
The term alternative therapy, in general, is used to describe any medical treatment or intervention that has not been scientifically documented or identified as safe or effective for a specific condition. Alternative therapy encompasses a variety of disciplines that range from diet and exercise to mental conditioning to lifestyle changes.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- Antidepressants (Depression Medications)
- methylprednisolone (Medrol)
- diazepam (Valium, Diastat, Acudial, Diastat Pediatric, Diazepam Intensol)
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- Types of Multiple Sclerosis Medications and Treatments
- baclofen (Gablofen, Lioresal)
- amantadine (Symmetrel - Discontinued)
- dantrolene - oral, Dantrium
- dalfampridine, Ampyra
- fingolimod (Gilenya)
- natalizumab - injection, Tysabri
- mitoxantrone (Novantrone)
- teriflunomide (Aubagio)
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.