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Pronunciation: mih-GLOO-stat
Generic Name: Miglustat
Brand Name: Zavesca

Zavesca is used for:

Treating mild to moderate type I Gaucher disease in patients for whom enzyme replacement therapy is not appropriate.

Zavesca is a glucosylceramide synthase inhibitor. It works by reducing the formation of certain substances in the body (glucosylceramide-based glycosphingolipids). This helps to relieve some of the blood, liver, spleen, and other organ problems caused by type I Gaucher disease.

Do NOT use Zavesca if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Zavesca
  • you are pregnant or may become pregnantyour partner could become pregnant
  • you have severe kidney problems

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Zavesca:

Some medical conditions may interact with Zavesca. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems
  • if you have a history of a sensation of numbness or tingling of the skin (peripheral neuropathy), stomach or bowel problems (eg, inflammatory bowel disease), or hand tremors

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Zavesca. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Imiglucerase because its effectiveness may be decreased by Zavesca

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Zavesca may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Zavesca:

Use Zavesca as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Zavesca. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Take Zavesca by mouth with water, with or without food.
  • Swallow Zavesca whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
  • Take Zavesca on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking Zavesca at the same times each day will help you remember to take it.
  • If you miss a dose of Zavesca, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Zavesca.

Important safety information:

  • Zavesca may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Zavesca with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Women who may become pregnant should use effective birth control while they take Zavesca. Check with your doctor if you have questions about effective birth control.
  • Zavesca may be harmful to sperm. Men who use Zavesca should use effective birth control while they take Zavesca and for 3 months after stopping it. Check with your doctor if you have questions about effective birth control.
  • Zavesca may cause diarrhea, especially when you begin taking it. If this occurs, check with your doctor or pharmacist for ways to treat diarrhea. Contact your doctor if the diarrhea becomes severe.
  • Be sure to follow the diet program prescribed by your health care provider.
  • Zavesca may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Lab tests, including nervous system checks, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Zavesca with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • Zavesca may affect growth rate in CHILDREN and TEENAGERS in some cases. They may need regular growth checks while they use Zavesca.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Zavesca may cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Zavesca while you are pregnant. It is not known if Zavesca is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Zavesca.

Possible side effects of Zavesca:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Back pain; constipation; cramps; diarrhea; dizziness; dry mouth; gas; headache; heaviness in the limbs; indigestion; leg cramps; loss of appetite; menstrual disorders; nausea; stomach bloating, pain, or upset; vomiting; weakness; weight loss.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); burning, numbness, or tingling sensation of the hands, arms, legs, or feet; flu-like symptoms (eg, fever, chills); memory loss; migraine; new or worsening tremors; severe or persistent diarrhea; unsteady gait; unusual bleeding or bruising; vision problems.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

See also: Zavesca side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include burning, numbness, or tingling; dizziness.

Proper storage of Zavesca:

Store Zavesca at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Zavesca out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Zavesca, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Zavesca is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Zavesca. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: February 1, 2012
Database Edition
Copyright 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

More Zavesca resources

  • Zavesca Side Effects (in more detail)
  • Zavesca Use in Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
  • Zavesca Drug Interactions
  • Zavesca Support Group
  • 0 Reviews for Zavesca - Add your own review/rating
  • Zavesca Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Zavesca Consumer Overview
  • Zavesca Monograph (AHFS DI)
  • Zavesca Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Miglustat Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)

Compare Zavesca with other medications

  • Gaucher Disease

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