Keveyis Approved to Treat Rare Type of Paralysis

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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New drug Keveyis (dichlorphenamide) received FDA approval on August 10, 2015. It is the first prescription approved to treat a rare genetic disorder known as periodic paralysis.

Periodic paralysis can be triggered by too much or too little potassium in your blood (hyperkalemic or hypokalemic), and involves periods of muscle weakness or paralysis. It is estimated to affect only 5,000 people in the United States; according to the Periodic Paralysis International, hypokalemic periodic paralysis (caused by too little potassium) is estimated to occur in only 1 per 100,000 people.

What type of medication is Keveyis?
Keveyis is in a class of medications known as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Carbon anhydrase inhibitors work by keeping the potassium level in your body balanced—so that you don’t have too much or too little.

Can I get Keveyis at the pharmacy of my choice?

No. Keveyis will be considered a specialty medication and dispensed exclusively by the nationwide specialty pharmacy known as Diplomat Pharmacy.

Diplomat will ship Keveyis to your house, but you will not be able to fill a prescription for Keveyis at your normal pharmacy.

How will Keveyis be taken?

The initial dose of Keveyis will be one 50 mg tablet taken twice daily (for a total of 100 mg), but the dose may be increased to a maximum of 200 mg daily based on your individual response.

When will Keveyis be available?
Keveyis is set to become available in the third quarter of 2015.

Will the manufacturer have any special programs for Keveyis?

Yes. Keveyis will have a program called Keys2Care which will provide a suite of patient support services to ensure people diagnosed with periodic paralysis can receive treatment as soon as possible.

What are the side effects associated with Keveyis?

The most common side effects of Keveyis include a tingling or pricking sensation, difficulty thinking and paying attention, changes in taste, and confusion.

Want more information?

See the press release from the manufacturer, TARO Pharmaceuticals, regarding Keveyis here.

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