Treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) means staying on therapy for as long as it’s working for you. As a result, many people are rightfully concerned about the safety and side effects of any given treatment. The safety of Tecfidera has been documented in clinical studies for up to 4 years. In these studies, Tecfidera decreased white blood cells so your doctor may do blood tests before starting treatment and from time to time while you take Tecfidera.
The most common side effects were flushing and stomach problems, which happened mainly at the start of treatment and usually decreased over time.
Your doctor may order a simple blood test before you start taking Tecfidera to see how many white blood cells you have already. You may also need to have a blood cell count from time to time. This is a precaution because in the studies Tecfidera decreased white blood cells. In these studies, people taking Tecfidera had no increased risk of serious infections.
You should always talk to your doctor before taking Tecfidera if you're pregnant, interested in becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding. That's because it isn't known how taking Tecfidera would affect an unborn baby or if it passes into your breast milk. If you're pregnant while taking Tecfidera, talk to your doctor about enrolling in the Tecfidera Pregnancy Registry to monitor the health of you and your baby.
The most common side effects of Tecfidera in clinical studies were flushing and stomach problems. People tended to have symptoms at the start of treatment, and they usually decreased over time. You could have other side effects, so if you have any that bother you or don't go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may have advice for managing symptoms, such as taking Tecfidera with food to help with flushing.
Symptoms are mostly mild to moderate and usually described as redness, itching or rash
Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain or indigestion
A type of white blood cell that helps defend against infection.