Making the most of ZAVESCA
ZAVESCA can provide benefits to people with type 1 Gaucher disease. Still, keep in mind that ZAVESCA may take some time to work in ways you can notice.Learn more
Other considerations while taking ZAVESCA
To make the most of ZAVESCA therapy, you and your doctor may want to consider making some changes to your diet.Learn more
Understanding food labels
One way to start managing your diet while on ZAVESCA® (miglustat) therapy
Helping yourself with healthy choices.
Simple steps for making the most of ZAVESCA® (miglustat).
You've already learned that it's important to minimize the amount of food you eat containing high amounts of starch and sugars—specifically sucrose, maltose, and lactose—and to continue enjoying foods low in starch and carbohydrates. As described below, food labels can be your simple everyday guide to making good dietary choices.
Work with your doctor or a nutritionist for help with choosing appropriate foods while you're on ZAVESCA therapy. You can also find information about the carbohydrate, fat, and protein content of individual foods at www.nal.usda.gov, fnic.nal.usda.gov, and www.nutritiondata.com.
What the label says
This is a food label.
Four sections of the label in particular are important to you while on therapy with ZAVESCA: serving size, carbohydrates, sugars, and ingredient list.
The first place to start when you look at the Nutrition Facts label is the serving size and the number of servings in the package. Serving sizes are based in familiar units (such as cups or pieces), followed by an amount in metric units (such as milliliters or grams). In the fruit yogurt example, a serving size is one container.
Carbohydrates and Sugars
Because it is recommended that you reduce certain sugars (disaccharides) while taking ZAVESCA, you should look at sugars listed under the carbohydrate section of the Nutrition Facts label. These include naturally occurring sugars (like those in fruit and milk) as well as those added to a food or drink.*
The example of the plain yogurt has 12g of sugars, while the fruit yogurt has 27g of sugars in one serving.
*You can check the ingredient list for sugars that are not natural and have been added.
Compare the ingredient lists for the two yogurts. Ingredients are listed in order of weight (from most to least). Make sure that added sugars are not listed as one of the first few ingredients. Other names for added sugars include corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, sucrose, honey, and maple syrup.
You may notice that even though no added sugars or sweeteners are in the list of ingredients for the plain yogurt, the Nutrition Facts label shows 12g of sugars. This is because there are no added sugars in plain yogurt, only naturally occurring sugars (lactose in the milk).
Talk to your doctor first before making any changes to your diet.
What is ZAVESCA® (miglustat)?
ZAVESCA is a prescription medicine taken by mouth for adults with mild to moderate type 1 Gaucher disease. ZAVESCA is used only in people who cannot be treated with enzyme replacement therapy.
It is not known if ZAVESCA is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
Who should not take ZAVESCA?
- Do not take ZAVESCA if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. The active ingredient is miglustat.
- Do not take ZAVESCA if you are pregnant or may become pregnant while taking ZAVESCA.
What should I tell my doctor before taking ZAVESCA?
Before you take ZAVESCA tell your doctor if you:
- Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. ZAVESCA may harm your baby. You should use effective birth control while taking ZAVESCA.
ZAVESCA may also harm a man's sperm. All men should use effective birth control during treatment with ZAVESCA and for 3 months after stopping ZAVESCA.
- Are breast-feeding. It is not known if ZAVESCA passes into your milk and if it can harm your baby. You should decide either to breast-feed or take ZAVESCA, but not both.
- Have kidney problems
- Have any other medical conditions
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and other dietary supplements. Some medicines may affect ZAVESCA. ZAVESCA may affect other medicines.
How should I take ZAVESCA?
- Take ZAVESCA exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Check with your doctor or your pharmacist if you are not sure.
What are the possible side effects of ZAVESCA?
ZAVESCA may cause serious side effects including:
Problems affecting your nerves (neurologic problems):
New or worse hand tremors (shaky movements). Tremors may begin within the first month of starting treatment. Sometimes the tremors may go away between 1 to 3 months with continued treatment. Sometimes a lower dose or stopping ZAVESCA is needed to help the tremors go away. Call your doctor if you get hand tremors while taking ZAVESCA or the hand tremors you already have get worse.
Numbness and tingling in your hands, arms, legs, or feet (peripheral neuropathy). Call your doctor right away if you get numbness or tingling in your arms or legs.
Your doctor may test your nerves (neurological exam) before you start ZAVESCA and may repeat this procedure at a later time.
- Diarrhea. Your doctor may give you another medicine (anti-diarrheal) to treat diarrhea if it is a problem for you, and may recommend changes to your diet.
- Weight loss. You may also lose weight when you start treatment with ZAVESCA.
- Low Platelet Count. Your doctor may do blood tests to monitor your blood platelet count.
The most common side effects of ZAVESCA are:
- Stomach pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle and leg cramps
- Vision problems
- Stomach bloating
- Back pain
- Dry mouth
- Heaviness in arms and legs
- Unsteady walking
- Memory loss
- Decreased appetite
- Menstrual problems
Call your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the side effects with ZAVESCA. For more information, ask your doctor or your pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA 1088.
Please see full Prescribing Information.