Tecfidera Warnings and Precautions
Reviewing your medical history and current medications with your healthcare provider before starting treatment with Tecfidera can help minimize potentially serious complications. Safety precautions with Tecfidera include warnings of allergic reactions and low blood cell counts. Also, people who have an infection or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may not be able to use this medicine.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Tecfidera™ (dimethyl fumarate) 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
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include the following:
- Tecfidera 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 Tecfidera with food may reduce the chance that you will experience flushing.
- Tecfidera is unlikely to react with other medications (see Tecfidera Drug Interactions).
- Tecfidera 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 drug and believe you may be pregnant (see Tecfidera and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if Tecfidera 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).