Worldwide, multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most prevalent disabling neurological condition of young adults, with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) being the more common type diagnosed at onset. A relapse, or flare-up, can result in new symptoms or a worsening of your existing symptoms. To help reduce the risk of new or worsening symptoms, talk to your doctor about Tecfidera, an immunomodulator drug that is one of the few oral MS medications available. There is no cure for MS, and researchers are not completely certain about what causes it, but you may be able to slow your relapse rate.
When taken as directed, it is believed that the active ingredient in Tecfidera, called Dimethyl Fumarate, activates a protein (Nrf2). This results in a powerful antioxidant response which neutralizes free radicals so there can be less damage caused during a relapse. Tecfidera also decreases your immune system’s activity in order to reduce inflammation and makes it more difficult for immune cells to enter and attack your central nervous system (CNS).
Relapsing multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory attack on the protective membrane called the myelin sheath that covers the nerve fibers in your central nervous system that includes your spinal cord and brain. This results in your activated immune cells causing small areas of damage. MS affects every person differently as symptoms depend on where on your spinal cord or brain the damage has been done. You may experience eye pain, stiff muscles, bowel or bladder problems, or trouble with your balance or coordination. MS is not contagious nor is it a fatal disease, although in severe cases, it can shorten your life span.
Ask your doctor if there are risks with taking Tecfidera while you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breast feeding. Discuss other medical conditions or allergies with your doctor and list any OTC or Rx medications you currently take or use, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements as this will help determine if Tecfidera is safe for you to take.
To reduce your risk of your skin flushing as a temporary side effect, take Tecfidera with a meal. Keep this and other medications out of children’s reach and away from pets. Talk to your doctor before you start, stop, or alter the dosage of any of your medications, including Tecfidera. Until you know how Tecfidera will affect you, do not attempt any task that requires you to be alert.