Nuedexta is approved for the treatment of pseudobulbar affect (PBA), a condition characterized by uncontrolled episodes of laughing or crying, even when there doesn't appear to be anything to laugh or cry about. It comes in the form of a capsule and is typically taken once or twice a day. Possible side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, and dizziness.
This medication is made by Patheon, Inc., for Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
How Does Nuedexta Work?
The exact way Nuedexta works to treat pseudobulbar affect is unknown. Dextromethorphan, one of the medicines in Nuedexta, is known to work in the brain. It is commonly found in cough and cold products, because it has actions in the "cough center" of the brain, where it suppresses coughing.
Dextromethorphan blocks N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (more commonly called NMDA receptors), preventing the action of glutamate, an excitatory brain chemical. It also binds to sigma receptors. The role of sigma receptors in the brain is not clearly established, but researchers believe they may play a role in certain neurological conditions.
Quinidine, the other medication in Nuedexta, slows down the rate at which the body breaks down dextromethorphan. This increases dextromethorphan blood levels, increasing dextromethorphan's effect in the body.
Nuedexta Web site. Available at: http://www.nuedexta.com/index.shtml. Accessed March 13, 2011.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 10, 2012.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed March 13, 2011.
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