All You Need to Know About Ivacaftor

Have you or your loved one been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis? Then read on! It is an inherited disorder and can cause severe damage to the lungs, digestive system, and other organs in the body. It is progressive, and patients need daily care to deal with it and follow a routine life.


What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited, autosomal recessive genetic condition caused by the mutation in both copies of the CFTR gene that severely affects the lungs, digestive system, and other organs. A progressive disorder, it affects the cells that produce sweat, mucus, and digestive juices. Mucus is usually a thin slippery fluid but, in cystic fibrosis-affected patients, the mucus becomes thick and sticky. So, instead of acting as a lubricant, it clogs the passages in the lungs and blocks the airway. A defective gene is responsible for cystic fibrosis.

Symptoms associated with cystic fibrosis

The symptoms greatly vary with the age and severity of the medical condition. Some symptoms can be as follows

  Persistent cough
  Exercise intolerance
  Repeated lung infections
  Inflamed nasal passages or a stuffy nose
  Recurrent sinusitis
  Foul smelling stool
  Poor weight gain
  Severe constipation

If you are experiencing the above symptoms, you must seek medical attention and get tested for cystic fibrosis. The detection of the disorder can help the doctor start with the essential medications. With routine care and daily medicines, cystic fibrosis can be managed. Ivacaftor is one such drug that is beneficial in the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

What is Ivacaftor?

Ivacaftor belongs to the class of medication called cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) potentiators. This is used in combination or alone to treat cystic fibrosis in patients who have specific mutations. This drug works by modifying the function of the protein to decrease the thick mucus build-up in the lungs and improve the symptoms. Ivacaftor will not cure cystic fibrosis but, helps manage and control it.

Precaution and instructions for using Ivacaftor

All drugs interact with the food we eat and the other medications we take. Ivacaftor also needs to be used with caution. Some drugs cannot be used together. Some, when used together cause deathly side effects. When you visit the doctor, it is imperative to inform the doctor of your complete medical condition. That helps the doctor to prescribe the most effective drug for you in the required dosages. Ivacaftor is prescribed for patients with a specific gene mutation related to cystic fibrosis. A medical test should be taken to see if you have that gene mutation. Before taking this medicine, inform your doctor about your medical history, especially your personal or family history. Discuss any cardiac disorder, liver disease, kidney disorder, or skin issues you may be facing. Also, inform the doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Make sure to discuss all the current prescribed and unprescribed drugs, and herbal products that are consumed by you daily.

Availability and dosage of Ivacaftor

Ivacaftor comes as a tablet or as granules, It has to be taken orally, as directed by your doctor. The recommended dosage is twice a day, there should be a gap of 12 hours between the two doses. The doses are based on the age and weight of the individual.

A high-fat food is recommended just before or after taking the medication.
Consult your doctor before stopping the drug.
Do not alter the dosage without consulting with your doctor.
Avoid having grapefruit or Seville oranges or grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
Continue taking the medication even if you feel well.

Missed a dose? Take it when you remember, but if there are less than six hours for the next dose, skip the missed dose and directly take the next scheduled dose. Ivacaftor is popularly sold under the brand name Kalydeco tablets by Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Adverse effects associated with Ivacaftor

An unwanted symptom caused by any drug is called a side effect. All drugs, along with the desired effects; produce some unwanted effects, which may not require any medical attention. Ivacaftor too may cause some side effects in some individuals.

 The common side effects include
  Joint pain
  Mouth and throat pain
  Fever, sore throat, runny nose, or other signs of infection

Some severe side effects that are rare and can occur in some individuals could prove to be lifethreatening. In case you are among the rare few and experience any of the following symptoms,
contact your doctor and seek medical attention immediately.

  Loss of appetite
  Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  Dark urine
  Risk of developing a cataract
  Extreme tiredness
  Unusual bleeding or bruising
  Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  Vision changes

Always be on the watch for any unwanted or severe side effects. Get medical help if you feel uneasy anytime.

How do you know if Ivacaftor is the drug for you?

Ivacaftor is beneficial in cases of cystic fibrosis and provides relief. It is prescribed only in case of gene mutations that cause cystic fibrosis. It is therefore essential to conduct a medical test to see if you have that particular gene mutation, and only then you can take Ivacaftor. Also, pharmacogenetic testing is the answer to all medicines and their efficacy. It can tell you your variability of drug response due to inherited genes. Indus Health Plus has an easy, accessible and affordable pharmacogenetic test called the MEDNAwise, which can predict your genetic response to 70+ drugs associated with different medical streams. All drugs interact with your body. It also depends on how you take the drug and where exactly the
drug acts in your body. Your genes play an important role in this process and influence the way you respond to the drug.

MEDNAwise tells you which drugs will get a favourable reaction from your genes. As Ivacaftor works only in case of a specific gene mutation, MEDNAwise will help you know if Ivacaftor is the drug for you and whether it will provide any benefit.
Drugs are associated with side effects and toxicity. After the usage of the drugs, the dosage is often adjusted by the clinician. The MEDNAwise test can help the doctor provide you with the best treatment as per your genetic profile.
MEDNAwise is easy to take, with no prick, no blood, simple saliva swab test. The genetic counsellors also help and guide you once the results are out. Understanding your genes can protect your health and improve your treatment. MEDNAwise has opened doors to precision and targeted therapy bringing a huge change in the traditional way of medical treatments. Take advantage of this and lead a better and healthier life.
Be proactive and future-ready. Sign up for the MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic test today!

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