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Why is this medication prescribed?

Istradefylline is a medication prescribed for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. It is specifically used as an adjunct therapy to other medications, such as levodopa/carbidopa, in patients experiencing “off” episodes. “Off” episodes are periods when the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as stiffness, tremors, and difficulty moving, re-emerge or worsen despite ongoing treatment.

Istradefylline belongs to a class of drugs called adenosine A2A receptor antagonists. It works by blocking the adenosine A2A receptors in the brain, which helps to improve motor function and reduce the frequency and duration of “off” episodes.

How should this medicine be used?

Istradefylline is typically used as an adjunct therapy in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Here are some general guidelines for using Istradefylline:

  • Dosage: The recommended starting dose of Istradefylline is usually 20 mg once daily. Your doctor may adjust the dose based on your response to the medication and any side effects you may experience.
  • Timing: Istradefylline is typically taken once daily, with or without food. It is important to take it at the same time each day to maintain consistent levels of the medication in your body.
  • Follow instructions: It is crucial to follow the instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist regarding the dosage and frequency of Istradefylline. Do not change the dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting your healthcare provider.
  • Combination therapy: Istradefylline is usually prescribed in combination with other Parkinson’s disease medications, such as levodopa/carbidopa. Continue taking your other medications as prescribed, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
  • Regular check-ups: Your doctor will monitor your response to Istradefylline and may adjust the dosage if needed. Attend follow-up appointments as scheduled to discuss your progress and any concerns or questions you may have.
  • Be patient: It may take some time for Istradefylline to show its full effect. Be patient and continue taking the medication as prescribed, even if you do not notice immediate improvement. It may take several weeks before you experience the full benefits.

Remember, these are general guidelines, and individual instructions may vary. Always follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider for your particular situation. If you have any concerns or questions about how to use Istradefylline, consult your doctor or pharmacist for personalized advice.

Other uses for this medicine

Istradefylline is primarily used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease as an adjunct therapy. However, it is important to note that medications are typically prescribed for specific indications approved by regulatory authorities. Istradefylline’s approved use is limited to Parkinson’s disease, specifically for reducing “off” episodes in patients receiving other medications for Parkinson’s disease.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions with Istradefylline, here are a few key points:

  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you have any known allergies or hypersensitivity to Istradefylline or any of its components. This medication should not be used if you have a known hypersensitivity to it.
  • Medication interactions: Inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal products. Certain medications, such as theophylline and strong cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ketoconazole, clarithromycin), can interact with Istradefylline, potentially affecting its efficacy or increasing the risk of side effects.
  • Liver impairment: Istradefylline is metabolized in the liver, so individuals with severe liver impairment should use this medication with caution. Dose adjustment may be necessary in such cases, and close monitoring by a healthcare professional is advised.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: The safety of Istradefylline during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been well established. Consult with your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding to weigh the potential risks and benefits of using this medication.
  • Side effects: Like any medication, Istradefylline can cause side effects. Common side effects may include dyskinesia (involuntary movements), nausea, dizziness, hallucinations, and insomnia. If you experience any unusual or bothersome side effects, report them to your doctor.

It is important to remember that these precautions are not exhaustive, and it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider for comprehensive information on the specific precautions, warnings, and contraindications associated with Istradefylline.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary instructions associated with the use of Istradefylline. You can generally take this medication with or without food. However, it is always a good idea to follow a balanced and healthy diet as recommended by your healthcare provider for overall well-being, especially if you have Parkinson’s disease.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Istradefylline, follow these general guidelines:

  • Timing: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is already close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • Do not double dose: Do not take a double dose of Istradefylline to make up for the missed dose. Taking more than the prescribed amount can increase the risk of side effects.
  • Consult your healthcare provider: If you are unsure about what to do or if you frequently forget to take your medication, it is best to consult your doctor or pharmacist for personalized advice. They can provide specific instructions based on your situation.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Istradefylline, like any medication, can potentially cause side effects. It is important to note that not everyone who takes Istradefylline will experience these side effects, and their severity can vary from person to person. Here are some common side effects associated with Istradefylline:

  • Dyskinesia: Dyskinesia refers to involuntary, abnormal movements of the body. It can manifest as twisting, writhing, or jerking movements. Dyskinesia is a common side effect of Istradefylline, particularly when used in combination with other Parkinson’s disease medications.
  • Nausea: Some individuals may experience feelings of nausea or an upset stomach when taking Istradefylline. Taking the medication with food or adjusting the dosage timing may help alleviate this side effect.
  • Dizziness: Dizziness or lightheadedness can occur with Istradefylline use. It is important to be cautious when getting up from a sitting or lying position to avoid falls.
  • Hallucinations: Istradefylline has been associated with the occurrence of hallucinations, which can involve seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not actually present. If you experience hallucinations or any other changes in your perception, it is important to inform your healthcare provider.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia) may occur in some individuals taking Istradefylline. If you experience sleep disturbances, it is recommended to discuss this with your doctor, as they may be able to provide strategies or adjust your medication regimen.
  • Other side effects: Additional side effects that have been reported with Istradefylline include abnormal dreams, constipation, headache, dry mouth, anxiety, and increased blood pressure. If you experience any persistent or concerning side effects, consult your healthcare provider.

It is important to promptly report any side effects you experience to your doctor. They can assess the severity of the side effects and determine the appropriate course of action, which may involve adjusting the dosage or considering alternative treatment options.

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

  • Storage: Store Istradefylline at room temperature, away from excessive heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. Follow the storage instructions provided by your pharmacist or indicated on the medication packaging.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets: Ensure that Istradefylline is stored in a secure place where children and pets cannot access it. Accidental ingestion can be dangerous.
  • Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired Istradefylline properly. Do not flush it down the toilet or pour it down the drain unless instructed to do so. Consult your local pharmacy or healthcare provider for guidance on how to dispose of medications in an environmentally safe manner.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of emergency or overdose, take the following steps:

  • Contact emergency services: If someone is experiencing severe symptoms or you suspect an overdose, call emergency services immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Call poison control: You can also contact your local poison control center for guidance on what to do in case of an overdose. They can provide further instructions and advice based on the specific situation.
  • Do not induce vomiting: Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a healthcare professional or poison control. It is best to follow their advice and recommendations.

What other information should I know?

  • Adherence to medication: Take Istradefylline exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not change the dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting your healthcare provider.
  • Regular follow-ups: Attend all scheduled appointments with your doctor to monitor your response to Istradefylline and discuss any concerns or questions you may have.
  • Other medical conditions and medications: Inform your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications you are currently taking, as they can interact with Istradefylline and affect its efficacy or safety.
  • Non-motor symptoms: Istradefylline primarily targets motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. If you have non-motor symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, or sleep disturbances, discuss them with your doctor for appropriate management.
  • Travel considerations: If you plan to travel, ensure that you have an adequate supply of Istradefylline. It is advisable to carry it in your carry-on luggage along with a copy of your prescription in case it is needed.

As always, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for personalized advice and information related to your specific situation and medical history.

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