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Generic Name: Miglustat (mih-GLUE-stat)
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 blocking an enzyme that reduces the formation of certain chemicals in the body (glucosylceramide-based glycosphingolipids). This helps to relieve some of the blood, liver, spleen, and other organ problems caused by this disease.

Do NOT use Zavesca if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Zavesca
  • you are pregnant, could become pregnant, or if your 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 are allergic to soya lecithin, soybeans, or peanuts
  • if you have kidney problems or a history of a sensation of numbness or tingling of the skin (peripheral neuropathy)

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 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.

  • Zavesca may be taken with or without food.
  • Zavesca comes with an additional patient leaflet. Read it carefully and reread it each time you get Zavesca refilled.
  • Take Zavesca regularly to receive 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 , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, 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 drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Zavesca . Using Zavesca alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Zavesca contains soya lecithin. If you are allergic to soya lecithin, soybeans, or peanuts, check with your doctor before using Zavesca .
  • Use effective methods of birth control while taking Zavesca . Because Zavesca may cause harm to sperm, men should also use effective birth control for 3 months after stopping Zavesca .
  • Zavesca may cause diarrhea, especially when you begin taking it. 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. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
  • 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 of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Zavesca may cause harm to the fetus. Do not use Zavesca if you are pregnant. If you suspect that you could be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately. Avoid becoming pregnant while taking this medicine. It is unknown 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; unsteady gait; gas; headache; heavy limbs; indigestion; leg cramps; loss of appetite; menstrual disorders; migraine; 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; 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; memory loss; tremor or a worsening of existing tremor in your hands; unusual bleeding or bruising; vision problems.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

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 abnormal skin sensations; dizziness.

Proper storage of Zavesca :

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

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: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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Typical mistypes for Zavesca
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