Deflazacort

Deflazacort is used to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD; a progressive disease in which the muscles do not function properly) in adults and children 2 years of age and older. Deflazacort is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by reducing inflammation (swelling) and by changing the way the immune system works.

🔔 How should this medicine be used?

Deflazacort comes as a tablet and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take deflazacort at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take deflazacort exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

If you cannot swallow the tablet whole, you may crush the tablet and mix with applesauce. The mixture should be taken immediately.

Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Use the measuring device to measure the dose of deflazacort and slowly add the dose to 3 to 4 ounces (90 to 120 mL) of milk or fruit juice and take immediately. Do not mix deflazacort suspension with grapefruit juice.

Your doctor may need to change your dose of deflazacort if you experience unusual stress on your body such as surgery, illness, or infection. Tell your doctor if your symptoms improve or get worse or if you get sick or have any changes in your health during your treatment.

Do not stop taking deflazacort without talking to your doctor. Stopping the drug abruptly may cause symptoms such as loss of appetite, an upset stomach, vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, headache, fever, joint and muscle pain, peeling skin, and weight loss. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually to allow your body to adjust before stopping the drug completely. Watch for these side effects if you are gradually decreasing your dose and after you stop taking the tablets or oral suspension. If these problems occur, call your doctor immediately.

Just under half – 49% – of Americans get their health insurance through their employer, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Another 19% of Americans are insured under Medicaid, 14% under Medicare, seven% under non-group plans and two% under other public insurers, while nine% of U.S. citizens remain uninsured.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.

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🔔 Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

🔔 What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking deflazacort,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to deflazacort, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in deflazacort tablets or suspension. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol), clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac), efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla), fluconazole (Diflucan), diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Diltzac, Taztia), medications for diabetes including insulin, phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater), thyroid medications, and verapamil (Calan, in Tarka, Verelan). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with deflazacort, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had hepatitis B (HBV, a virus that infects the liver and may cause severe liver damage); herpes eye infection (a type of eye infection that causes a sore on the eyelid or eye surface); cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye); glaucoma (an eye disease); high blood pressure; heart failure; a recent heart attack; diabetes; emotional problems, depression, or other types of mental illness; myasthenia gravis (a condition in which the muscles become weak); osteoporosis (condition in which the bones become weak and fragile and can break easily); pheochromocytoma (tumor on a small gland near the kidneys); ulcers; a blood clot in your legs, lungs, or eyes; or liver, kidney, heart, intestinal, adrenal, or thyroid disease. Also tell your doctor if you have any type of untreated bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral infection anywhere in your body.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking deflazacort, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking deflazacort.
  • check with your doctor to see if you need to receive any vaccinations. It is important to have all vaccines appropriate for your age before beginning your treatment with deflazacort. Do not have any vaccinations during your treatment without talking to your doctor.
  • you should know that deflazacort may decrease your ability to fight infection and may prevent you from developing symptoms if you get an infection. Stay away from people who are sick and wash your hands often while you are taking this medication. Be sure to avoid people who have chicken pox or measles. Call your doctor immediately if you think you may have been around someone who had chicken pox or measles.
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🔔 What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Do not eat of grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medication.