It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests and tests for heart function may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are taking this medicine and for 2 months after stopping it. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Do not use this medicine if you are also using medicine for heart rhythm problems, such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, Betapace®, Cardioquin®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Procanbid®, Quinaglute®, or Tikosyn®. Using these medicines together with fingolimod may cause serious unwanted effects.
This medicine may cause your heart rate to slow down, especially after taking the first dose. You will be observed in a hospital or clinic for 6 hours for signs and symptoms of bradycardia (slow heartbeat). Symptoms may include chest pain or discomfort, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, shortness of breath, slow or irregular heartbeat, or unusual tiredness.
Fingolimod can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
While you are being treated with this medicine, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. Live virus vaccinations should not be given for 2 months after or while receiving fingolimod.
You should receive a varicella zoster virus (VZV) vaccine at least 1 month before starting treatment with this medicine, especially if you have not had chickenpox. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
This medicine may cause macular edema (swelling of the back of the eye), especially during the first 3 to 4 months of treatment. Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want an eye doctor to check your eyes.
Check with your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, difficult or labored breathing, tightness in the chest, or wheezing while taking this medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.