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Precautions and Warnings With Dimethyl Fumarate

If you have problems with your white blood cell counts or have certain other medical issues, talk to your healthcare provider about whether dimethyl fumarate may increase your risk for certain complications. In some people, this drug may increase your risk for infections, allergic reactions, or other potentially serious problems. There are also important warnings and precautions for women who are pregnant or nursing.

 

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera™) if you have:
 
  • Been told you have low white blood cell counts
  • An infection
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
 
In addition, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
 
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Dimethyl Fumarate Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include the following:
 
  • Dimethyl fumarate can cause a decrease in your white blood cell count, which could increase your risk for developing potentially serious infections. You will need to have a blood test to check your white blood cell count within six months before starting treatment, and then at least once a year during treatment. If you develop a serious infection, your healthcare provider may recommend you temporarily stop taking this drug, at least until your infection resolves. 
 
  • This medication may cause flushing (warmth, redness, itching, and/or burning sensations). Flushing is more likely to occur at the start of treatment, and usually improves over time. Taking dimethyl fumarate with food may reduce the chance that you will experience flushing. 
   
  • Dimethyl fumarate is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means it may not be safe for use during pregnancy. However, the full risks are currently unknown. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you take this medication and believe you may be pregnant (see Tecfidera and Pregnancy).
 
  • It is unknown if dimethyl fumarate passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Tecfidera and Breastfeeding).
 
Know the Signs - Concussion Safety

Dimethyl Fumarate Drug Information

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