Nuedexta is a combination of dextromethorphan and quinidine. It is approved by the FDA to treat involuntary episodes of crying or laughing, known as the pseudobulbar affect (PBA), in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological disorders.
Dextromethorphan is in a class of drugs called central nervous system agents. It affects the signals in the brain related to the cough reflex and is usually used as a cough suppressant. Quinidine is an antiarrhythmic prescribed for people with certain heart rhythm disorders. It works by increasing the amount of dextromethorphan in the body.
PBA is thought to be the result of a “lost connection” in the areas of the brain that control emotional expression. Although results may vary from patient to patient, in a clinical trial for Nuedexta some patients experienced fewer PBA episodes at the end of the first week. By the end of the study, many patients were completely free from PBA episodes.
Nuedexta comes in a capsule to be taken with or without food, once daily for seven days. After the first week, patients must take one capsule every 12 hours.
Some common Nuedexta side effects are diarrhea, gas, vomiting, swelling of the hands and feet, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and cough. Dry mouth, constipation and confusion are side effects more likely experienced by older adults.
No generic version of Nuedexta is currently available in the U.S.
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