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Does Tecfidera Cause Hair Loss

Does Tecfidera Cause Weight Gain

My MS Story: Living With Multiple Sclerosis

Weight gain wasnt a side effect reported in studies of Tecfidera. But weight changes can be a symptom of multiple sclerosis , which Tecfidera treats.

Other drugs used to treat MS are known to have weight gain as a side effect. For example, corticosteroids may cause weight gain. Rayos is an example of a corticosteroid used to treat MS.

If youre concerned about weight gain while using Tecfidera, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to reach or maintain a suitable weight.

Focus And Connected Trials

A Phase 2 study called FOCUS investigated six months of Tecfidera use in children and adolescents, ages 10 to 17, with RRMS. Patients could then enroll in an extension study, called CONNECTED , and continue with Tecfidera treatment for an additional two years.

Over the 2.5 years of treatment, results from FOCUS and CONNECTED showed that patients had, on average, 0.2 relapses per year. That represented an 84.5% decrease from before starting on Tecfidera. Most patients showed no signs of disability progression.

Of note, Tecfidera is currently not approved for use in children and adolescents under 18 years of age.

More Common Side Effects Of Tecfidera

Tecfidera can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Tecfidera in clinical trials:

These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Tecfidera and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.

* For more information about this side effect, see Side effect specifics below.

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More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects of Tecfidera include:

See below for information about each serious side effect.


Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy is a life-threatening infection of the brain caused by the JC virus. It usually only happens in people whose immune system isnt fully working. Very rarely, PML has occurred in people with MS who were taking Tecfidera. In these cases, the people who developed PML also had decreased white blood cell levels.

To help prevent PML, your doctor will do blood tests regularly during your treatment to check your white blood cell levels. If your levels get too low, your doctor may recommend that you stop taking Tecfidera.

Your doctor will also monitor you for symptoms of PML while you take the drug. Symptoms may include:

  • weakness on one side of your body
  • vision problems

If you have these symptoms while taking Tecfidera, call your doctor right away. Your doctor will likely do tests to check whether you have PML, and they may stop your treatment with Tecfidera.


Flushing is a common side effect of Tecfidera. It happens in up to 40 percent of people who take the drug. Flushing effects typically occur soon after you start taking Tecfidera, and then improve or go away entirely over a period of several weeks.

In most cases, flushing is mild to moderate in severity and symptoms include:

  • feelings of warmth in the skin
  • itching
  • feeling of burning


Liver effects

Hold On Is Hair Loss A Side Effect Of Ms

Ms And Hair Loss

So, kind of. Hair loss actually has less to do with the MS itself and more to do with treatment someone might be on, explains Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD, a neurologist and neuroscientist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif.

A number of medications can help slow the progression of disease but some are quite potent, he says. Some are even chemotherapy drugs and can cause things like hair loss,” though it’s unclear exactly what medication Selma is on for her MS.

While there it’s possible to switch medications if they’re causing unwanted side effects , Dr. Kesari says not to make that decision too hastily. “If hair loss is related to a drug and the drug is actually helping the MS, you want to consider that,” he says.

Props again to Selma for being so honest about her MS symptomssharing her struggles is hopefully helping a lot of other people with the disease realize they’re not alone.

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Alcohol Use And Tecfidera

There arent any known safety issues with drinking alcohol while taking Tecfidera.

However, drinking alcohol may worsen certain side effects of Tecfidera. These include:

* To learn more about this side effect, see the Side effects explained section above.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about the amount thats safe for you to drink while taking Tecfidera.

Can Multiple Sclerosis Cause Hair Loss

One of the causes of multiple sclerosis hair loss is the use of interferons to treat some of the symptoms of the disease. The impact of the interferons is not instantaneous. Some patients use interferons for an extended period of time before they notice that their hair is thinner than it once was. That is when it will occur to them that they are experiencing hair loss. If they are lucky, they will be able to quickly make the connection between the interferons and the hair loss. If not, they might take a long time to make the connection or they might never make it.

Interferons can make the hair more vulnerable to breaking by changing its texture. Thus, any efforts to comb or brush the hair might break it. Even the fabric out of which a pillow case is made might increase the likelihood of hair breakage. Interferons can also trigger alopecia, which is the form of hair loss that occurs when hair drops out of the follicles spontaneously. This happens among some MS patients who have used these drugs for more than 3 months. Fortunately, this kind of hair loss does not have to be permanent. Discontinuing the medication upon a doctors recommendation allows the hair to start to grow back after some time. Occasionally, some patients grow back the lost hair even when they are still on the interferons. In these cases, patients are fortunate that MS and hair loss do not have to be permanently associated.

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What Are Disease Modifying Drugs And Which Ones Are Available

Disease-modifying drugs can decrease the frequency and severity of acute attacks, delay the progression of MS, and slow down the progression of disease-related disability and cognitive decline. DMDs are most effective when started early in the course of the disease.

Interferon-beta-1a, the active chemical in Avonex and Rebif, is a naturally occurring protein found in the body. Avonex and Rebif are synthesized using recombinant DNA technology, and the synthetic chemicals are identical to the natural protein. Although the mechanism of action of interferon-beta-1a in MS is unknown, interferon beta-1a is thought to inhibit the expression of chemicals that trigger the autoimmune response which causes inflammation and neurodegeneration associated with MS. Avonex and Rebif are used for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of MS to slow the progression of physical disability and decrease the frequency of flare-ups. Interferons, type beta-1a, and 1b are associated with significant side effects. The most common side effects are injection site reactions. Flu-like symptoms are also common but can be managed with acetaminophen , ibuprofen , and glucocorticoids. Additionally, interferons may cause liver damage and depression. Depression and flu-like symptoms are transient and usually decrease or go away with time.


Side effects associated with Avonex include

Who Can Take Cladribine

You can take cladribine if:

  • you have highly active relapsing MS. This means youve had two or more disabling relapses in the past year and MRI scans show you have more, or bigger, lesions. Guidelines call this rapidly evolving severe relapsing remitting MS
  • despite taking a DMT, youve had a relapse in the past year and new or bigger lesions can be seen on your MRI scans

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How Long Until A Drug Goes Generic

Generic drugs do not need to contain the same inactive ingredients as the brand name product. However, a generic drug can only be marketed after the brand name drugs patent has expired, which may take up to 20 years after the patent holders drug is first filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .

How Can You Prevent Flushing From Tecfidera

You may not be able to entirely prevent flushing caused by Tecfidera, but there are two things you can do to help reduce it:

  • Take Tecfidera with a meal.
  • Take 325 mg of aspirin 30 minutes before taking Tecfidera.

If these steps dont help and you still have bothersome flushing, talk with your doctor.

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Is Tecfidera An Immunosuppressant

Tecfidera does affect the immune system. It reduces some immune system functions to decrease inflammatory responses. It may also reduce activation of certain immune cells.

However, Tecfidera isnt usually categorized as an immunosuppressant. Its sometimes called an immunomodulator, which means that it affects some functions of the immune system.

Can Tecfidera Be Crushed

Psoriasis Diet

Tecfidera shouldnt be crushed, or opened and sprinkled on food. Tecfidera capsules should be swallowed whole.

Animal studies show that Tecfidera may be harmful to a fetus and may not be safe to take during pregnancy. However, animal studies dont always predict what will happen in humans.

Studies havent evaluated the effects of Tecfidera regarding pregnancy or birth defects in humans.

If youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about whether you should take Tecfidera.

If you become pregnant while taking Tecfidera, you can take part in the Tecfidera Pregnancy Registry. A pregnancy registry helps gather information on how certain drugs can affect pregnancy. If youd like to join the registry, ask your doctor, call 866-810-1462, or visit the registrys website.

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Tecfidera Side Effect: Hair Loss

Postby rancholulu»Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:21 am

Postby rancholulu»Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:26 pm

Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:24 pm

Postby rancholulu»Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:39 pm

Postby rancholulu»Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:22 pm

Postby eccarlson»Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:03 pm

VERY report this not only to their physician but most especially important, TO THE DRUG COMPANY so that it gets “official reported” as a side effectTECFIDERA PATIENT SERVICES: 1-800-456-2255

Weight Gain Or Weight Loss

In studies, some people who took Tysabri had weight gain or weight loss. Overall, weight changes werent common, and weight gain was reported just as often as weight loss. It isnt known how much weight people gained or lost during treatment.

Note that weight changes were only seen in studies of the drug as a treatment for multiple sclerosis . These side effects werent seen in the studies of the drug for Crohns disease.

This difference is likely because its common to experience weight fluctuations with MS. Symptoms of MS, such as fatigue and weakness, can sometimes make it tough to exercise regularly. Medications used to treat MS symptoms can also play a role in weight changes.

What might help

If you notice weight changes that concern you during Tysabri treatment, talk with your doctor. They may be able to help you identify and manage factors that could be affecting your weight. They may also suggest diet or exercise changes to maintain a moderate weight with your condition.

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Ms Treatment And Hair Loss

Has multiple sclerosis got you pulling out your hair…in clumps?

Over the past month or so, I’ve noted several comments, mostly from folks on Tysabri, about hair loss. As a person not yet on this drug therapy I want to know more and I’m sure our other readers do as well.

, a chemotherapy drug used on some forms of cancer as well as MS, has a listed side effect of minor hair loss. When on a regular dosing schedule I found a few more of my ever-graying tresses in the shower drain but not so much to be alarmed. Besides, as I said, some shedding was expected.

These anecdotal reports of unexpected follicular abandonment while on an MS drug are of concern to me. Not for the reasons of vanity. While I feel lucky to have a full head of hair in the midst of scads of male pattern baldness on my mother’s side, I’m not much one for vanity.

No, rather, it’s the fact that this side effect is only now coming to light and is doing so rather silently.

We need to be letting our neurologists know if you are loosing your hair at a more rapid rate after starting this drug therapy. Remember, this therapy was fast-tracked onto the market. It seems to me to be an amazing drug , please don’t think I’m bashing this treatment.

My point is that if hair loss is an unexpected side effect of this, or any MS therapy, what else might be unexpected?

I’m asking for my own information as well as everyone else’s. Please share.

Wishing you and your family the best of health.



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If Someones Experiencing Quite Troublesome Side Effects How Long Should They Stick With The Dmd Before Trying Something Else

Nikki says: Its going to be very individual to the person but I would certainly say give it at least six months on a treatment before making a decision with your MS team about changing to another drug. However, if youre having really intolerable side effects and just cannot continue on the drug then you might want to consider changing a bit earlier.

There are so many disease modifying drugs available now, people have far more options. In days gone by we just had interferons or Copaxone but now there are more drugs people can switch to if they are having problems with side effects.

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Ocrevus Use With Other Drugs

Your doctor may recommend that you take certain medications before you get each dose of Ocrevus. These medications can help lower your risk for having side effects from the infusion.

Youll usually be given a corticosteroid such as methylprednisolone about 30 minutes before your Ocrevus infusion. Like Ocrevus, this drug is given intravenously .

Youll also be given an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine , about 30 to 60 minutes before your Ocrevus infusion. You may also take acetaminophen or another fever-reducing drug before starting your infusion.

Talk with your doctor about which medications youll need to take before your Ocrevus infusions.

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