Toggle navigation
Toggle search

Difelikefalin (Intravenous route)

Pronunciation:

dye-fel-i-KEF-a-lin

Brand Names:

  • Korsuva

Classifications:

Chemical—

Opioid

Uses of This Medicine:

Difelikefalin injection is used to treat moderate to severe pruritus (skin itching) associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD-aP) in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the supervision of your doctor.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of difelikefalin injection in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of difelikefalin injection in the elderly.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Liver disease, mild to moderate—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
  • Liver disease, severe or
  • Patients on peritoneal dialysis—Use is not recommended in patients with these conditions.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a medical facility. It is given through a needle placed into one of your veins. It is usually given at the end of each dialysis treatment.

Missed dose—

Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it.

This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. It may also cause confusion, mental changes, or problems with walking, which may lead to falls. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

This medicine will add to the effects of other CNS depressants (medicines that can make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for allergies or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine, other prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the other medicines listed above while you are receiving this medicine.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Dizziness
falls
trouble in walking
Less common
Confusion
irregular heartbeat
mental depression or anxiety
nausea or vomiting
nervousness
nightmares or unusually vivid dreams
numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
stomach pain
trouble breathing
weakness or heaviness of the legs

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Diarrhea
Less common
Headache

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 3/30/2022
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.

We are physicians, hospitals and communities working together to help you live better.