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Fampridine (Generic Dalfampridine)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

When someone has multiple sclerosis (MS), which affects the nerves and can lead to weakness, numbness, loss of muscular coordination, issues with vision, speech, and bladder control, dalfampridine is used to help them walk more easily. When treating MS symptoms, dalfampridine can be taken by itself or in combination with other drugs. The drug dalfampridine belongs to the potassium channel blocker drug class. It functions by boosting the impulses that the brain sends through MS-damaged neurons.

How should this medicine be used?

Extended-release tablets for oral use are available for dalfampridine. Usually, it is taken twice daily with or without food. You should space out your dosages so that you take one about every 12 hours, and you should take dalfampridine at roughly the same intervals every day. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you do not understand, and carefully follow their instructions. Administer dalfampridine exactly as prescribed. Never take it in quantities or frequencies other than those recommended by your doctor.

Do not chew, dissolve, break, or split the pills; instead, swallow them whole.

Pharmacies do not carry dalfampridine. Dalfampridine is only available from a specialized pharmacy via mail order. If you have any concerns about receiving your medication, speak with your doctor.

As long as you continue taking dalfampridine, your walking may get better. You might not experience the full benefits of dalfampridine for up to 6 weeks. Dalfampridine should be taken even if you feel fine. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking dalfampridine.

You will get the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) from your doctor or pharmacist when you start taking dalfampridine and each time you refill your prescription. If you have any questions, carefully read the material and contact your doctor or pharmacist. The Medication Guide is also available on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking dalfampridine,

  • If you have an allergy to dalfampridine, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP, fampridine), any other medications, or any of the components in dalfampridine tablets, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. For a list of the ingredients, consult the Medication Guide or speak with your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products that you are now taking or intend to use. Mention any other formulations of 4-aminopyridine (4-AP, fampridine) that your pharmacist has created. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you have kidney illness and if you have ever experienced a seizure. Most likely, your doctor will advise against taking dalfampridine.
  • If you’ve ever undergone an aberrant electroencephalogram (EEG, a test that gauges brain electrical activity), let your doctor know.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking dalfampridine.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Ignore the missed dose and carry on with my normal dosing routine. Dalfampridine should not be taken more than twice in a 24-hour period, and you shouldn’t take two doses to make up for one you missed.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Dalfampridine might have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
  • Back ache
  • Trouble keeping your equilibrium
  • Symptoms of multiple sclerosis getting worse
  • Skin tingling, burning, or itching
  • Nasal or throat discomfort or irritability

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor or seek immediate emergency care if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Seizures
  • Unpleasant, challenging, or frequent urinating
  • Cold or fever
  • Back, side, or stomach discomfort

Other negative effects of dalfampridine are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch or by phone at 1-800-332-1088 if you have a serious side event.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it at room temperature and out of the bathroom and other places with excessive heat and moisture.

In order to stop pets, children, and other individuals from taking unused medicines, they must be disposed of safely. However, you shouldn’t flush away this medication. As an alternative, using a medicine take-back program is the best way to dispose of your medication. Speak to your pharmacist or your city’s waste/recycling department to learn more about take-back initiatives in your area. If a take-back program is not available to you, you can find more information on the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p.

All medications should be kept out of the sight and reach of children, as many of the containers (such as weekly pill containers and those for eye drops, lotions, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for small children to open. Always lock safety caps and put the medication in a secure spot right away, up high and out of young children’s sight and reach, to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose signs could include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Uncontrolled trembling in a bodily component
  • Sweating
  • Loss of memory
  • Speech issues
  • Weakness

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how well your body is responding to dalfampridine, your doctor will request specific lab tests.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Ampyra®
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