Emflaza 36 mg tablet

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Medication name

Generic name:
Deflazacort - oral

Pronunciation
(dee-FLAYZ-a-kort)

Brand name(s)
Emflaza

Uses

This medication is used to treat a certain inherited muscle disorder (Duchenne muscular dystrophy-DMD). Deflazacort belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids.

How to use

Read the Instructions for Use if available from your pharmacist before you start taking deflazacort and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily.

If you are using the tablet form of this medication, the tablets may be swallowed whole or crushed and mixed in applesauce. After mixing the medication in applesauce, take all of the mixture right away. Do not prepare a supply for future use.

If you are using the liquid form of this medication, shake the bottle well before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Mix the measured dose with half a glass (3 to 4 ounces/90 to 120 milliliters) of juice or milk. Do not use grapefruit juice. Take all of the mixture right away. Do not prepare a supply in advance. Consult your pharmacist if you have any questions.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, weight, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as weakness, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, headache, and tiredness. To prevent these symptoms while you are stopping treatment with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Report any new or worsening symptoms right away.

Side effects

Abnormal growth of body hair, increased appetite, or weight gain may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • weakness
  • puffy face
  • unusual weight gain
  • swelling ankles/feet/hands
  • slow wound healing
  • thinning skin
  • bone pain
  • menstrual period changes
  • mental/mood changes (such as depression, mood swings, agitation)
  • easy bruising/bleeding
  • symptoms of stomach/intestinal bleeding (such as stomach/abdominal pain, black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds)
  • vision problems
  • red/purple spots on the skin

This medication may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

This medication may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills, cough).

Deflazacort can commonly cause a rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe reaction. Get medical help right away if you develop any rash.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking deflazacort, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • infections (such as tuberculosis, herpes, fungal infections)
  • high blood pressure
  • heart problems (such as heart failure, recent heart attack)
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease (such as hepatitis B)
  • mental/mood disorders (such as psychosis, anxiety, depression)
  • mineral imbalance (such as low level of potassium/calcium in the blood)
  • thyroid disease
  • stomach/intestinal problems (such as ulcer, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, unexplained diarrhea)
  • diabetes
  • eye problems (such as cataracts, glaucoma)
  • bone loss (osteoporosis)
  • blood clots

Using corticosteroid medications for a long time can make it more difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you get a serious illness/injury, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have used this medication within the past 12 months. Tell your doctor right away if you develop unusual/extreme tiredness or weight loss. If you will be using this medication for a long time, carry a warning card or medical ID bracelet that identifies your use of this medication.

Deflazacort can make you more likely to get infections or may make current infections worse. Stay away from anyone who has an infection that may easily spread (such as chickenpox, COVID-19, measles, flu). Talk to your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.

Tell your health care professional that you are using deflazacort before having any immunizations/vaccinations. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).

This medication may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol while using this medication may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcoholic beverages. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

This medication may slow down a child's growth if used for a long time. Consult the doctor or pharmacist for more details. See the doctor regularly so your child's height and growth can be checked.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may rarely harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Infants born to mothers who have been using this medication for an extended time may have hormone problems. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, severe diarrhea, or weakness in your newborn.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Drug interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug are:

  • desmopressin
  • mifepristone
  • drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen, "blood thinners" such as warfarin/dabigatran)

If your doctor has told you to take low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke (usually 81-162 milligrams a day), you should keep taking the aspirin unless your doctor tells you not to. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (such as skin tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call 1-844-764-7669.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Lab and/or medical tests (such as blood mineral levels, blood sugar, complete blood count, bone density, blood pressure, eye exams) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments.

This medication may cause bone problems (osteoporosis) when taken for an extended time. Lifestyle changes that may help reduce the risk of bone problems include doing weight-bearing exercise, getting enough calcium and vitamin D, stopping smoking, and limiting alcohol. Discuss with your doctor lifestyle changes that might benefit you.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

If you are using the liquid form of this medication, keep the bottle upright. Once the bottle is opened, the liquid form of this medication expires after 1 month.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Medical alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

Important note

HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Information last revised June 2024.

Selected from NATIONAL DRUG DATA FILE (NDDF) data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc., 2019. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider.

The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your health care professional. You should consult your health care professional before taking any drug, changing your diet, or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.