PseudoBulbar Affect or PBA, is a frequent and uncontrollable fit of crying or laughing that happens suddenly without warning even if the situation doesn’t warrant the emotion. At present, there are approximately 2 million in the United States suffering from PBA.
Focus On What You Can Control
According to doctors, there are some strategies that patients are encouraged to adopt to make it easier to cope with PseudoBulbar Affect or PBA. Here are some of the strategies that patients are encouraged to use to help during the episodes.
Be open and honest in discussing your condition with others. Tell them how you may suddenly begin to laugh or cry unexpectedly and that it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the situation at hand. It has to do with a neurological disorder with which you’re struggling.
- Learn methods of distraction when you feel an episode coming on. Focus on something that is totally unrelated to the situation at hand.
- Try changing your body position. If you’re standing, try sitting, or walking around to see if that may help you to avoid an embarrassing situation.
- Practice taking a few deep breaths until you feel more in control of the emotion.
- Relax and release the tension in your body. Consciously try to relax starting at your toes and working your way up to the top of your head or vice versa.
- Get to know others who struggle with the condition and share your strategies and ask them to share their strategies. Knowing others with the same condition will also help you not to feel so alone.
- Check with your doctor often to see if new treatments are on the horizon or learn new coping strategies.
- Learn meditation or Yoga to help encourage your body to relax more. Consider art or music therapy to help relax and distract.
Ask Your Doctor About Nuedexta
Nuedexta is an FDA approved medication that treats PBA. Always take Nuedexta exactly as your doctor prescribes. He or she may want to do a few follow-ups to help adjust your medication as required.
In many cases, PBA improves on its own after a short period. Before you take Nuedexta, discuss other medications that you may be taking with your doctor.
Know that if you’re on MAOIs or quinidine or related drugs that they may have an interaction with Nuedexta and cause some serious side effects. You shouldn’t take Nuedexta if you’ve taken any MAOIs within the previous two weeks of taking the Nuedexta.
If you’ve had an allergic reaction to quinidine or related drugs or to dextromethorphan you shouldn’t take Nuedexta. Discuss any herbal supplements or vitamins that you’re taking with your doctor as well.
Don’t take Nuedexta if you’ve had heart disease or if you have a family history of heart disease. Your doctor may run some heart tests before prescribing Nuedexta for your PBA.
Don’t take Nuedexta if you have myasthenia gravis.
Call Your Doctor Immediately If Any Of The Following Occur As These May Be Signs Of An Allergic Reaction To Nuedexta
- If you feel faint or if you lose consciousness while taking Nuedexta.
- If you feel lightheaded.
- If you have chills or fever.
- If you feel nauseous or begin vomiting.
- Unexplained bruising or bleeding, Nuedexta may reduce the platelets in your blood and lead to death.
- Dizziness, muscle twitching or confusion.
- High blood pressure or restlessness.
Quinidine, which is an ingredient in Nuedexta, has been known to cause hepatitis.
Common Side Effects Of Nuedexta
The most common side effects to be aware of are diarrhea, cough, dizziness, vomiting, swelling of the feet and ankles, weakness and more. Be sure to call your doctor immediately if you’re unsure of any possible side effect. Talking to your physician will rule out the possibility of an allergic or potentially fatal reaction.
Your cost for Nuedexta can vary depending on insurance coverage and where you purchased the drug. According to a price guide from drugs.com, a 60 capsule count could cost $809 dollars using a discount card. Other locations offer the same supply at just under that price when you purchase the medicine with a coupon. The average retail price without any discounts or coupons comes in at just under $900 dollars.
If You Can’t Afford Your Medication
If you can’t afford your co-pay or your medicine, call Nuedexta and discuss the options for your particular insurance. There are many options available that they can go over with you.
Many insurances will cover Nuedexta. If you call Nuedexta, they can calculate what your exact payment should be and help you to find the right pharmacy for your specific needs.
Let your doctor know if you’re unable to afford any of your medications. He or she may also have other options available to assist you with your particular situation. Assistance programs may also be available.
Sometimes doctors will also have a limited supply of sample products that they can give to you to help partially defray the costs of medications. He or she may also be able to prescribe an alternative medication.
Never skip medications or adjust dosages to “afford” your medications. Call the doctor and ask your pharmacist if they have any other options. Call the drug company if the physician or the pharmacist can’t assist you in affording your medication.