What is the most important information I should know about nifurtimox?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your child's healthcare providers about all the child's medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines the child uses.
What is nifurtimox?
Nifurtimox is used to treat Chagas disease, a condition caused by a parasite. Chagas disease occurs most commonly in Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Nifurtimox is for use in children from birth through their 17th year. A child must weigh at least 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms) before taking this medicine.
Nifurtimox may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using nifurtimox?
Your child should not use nifurtimox if he or she is allergic to it.
Tell your child's doctor if the child has ever had:
- a brain injury;
- a seizure;
- mental illness or psychosis;
- kidney disease (or if the child is on dialysis);
- liver disease; or
- porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system).
Nifurtimox can harm an unborn baby if the mother or the father is using this medicine. Sexually active females and males should use effective birth control.
- If you are female, you may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine and for at least 6 months after your last dose.
- If you are male, use effective birth control if your sex partner is able to get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least 3 months after your last dose.
- Tell your doctor right away if a pregnancy occurs while either the mother or the father is using nifurtimox.
If you are breastfeeding, tell your doctor if you notice symptoms in the nursing baby such as fussiness, decreased appetite, vomiting, rash, or fever.
How should I use nifurtimox?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your child's dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
The usual dosage of nifurtimox is 3 times per day with food, taken for 60 days. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Each tablet should be swallowed whole or split in half. You may split a tablet by breaking it along scored line with your fingertip. Do not split a nifurtimox tablet using a tablet-cutting device.
If the child cannot swallow a tablet whole, place the tablet into 1/2 teaspoon of water. Allow the tablet to completely dissolve (in about 30 seconds). Give the mixture right away with food.
Nifurtimox doses are based on weight and could be different if the child gains or loses even a few pounds. Check the child's weight every 2 weeks while he or she is taking nifurtimox.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep the tablets in their original container, along with the packet or canister of moisture-absorbing preservative.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Give the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if your child's next dose is due in less than 3 hours. Do not use two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What are the possible side effects of nifurtimox?
Get emergency medical help if the child has signs of an allergic reaction: hives, itching; feeling light-headed; difficult breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if the child has:
- a decreased appetite and weight loss;
- new or worsening symptoms of a pre-existing condition (such as a brain injury, seizures, behavior changes, or mental health problems); or
- worsening symptoms of porphyria (dark urine, severe stomach pain, muscle pain, numbness, tingling, mental changes, or skin sensitivity to light).
Common side effects may include:
- stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;
- loss of appetite;
- rash; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect nifurtimox?
Other drugs may affect nifurtimox, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your child's current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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