Nuedexta is a drug that is used to treat a mood disorder called Pseudobulbar Affect. This condition causes sudden and uncontrollable bouts of laughing or crying, often at inappropriate times.
Pseudobulbar Affect, commonly referred to is a disorder that may be brought on by damage to the brain from a stroke, multiple sclerosis, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The bouts of laughing or crying caused by the condition can be sudden, intense, and prolonged and can greatly affect a person’s quality of life.
What is Nuedexta?
Nuedexta is a brand name version of dextromethorphan/quinidine. It is approved by the FDA as an oral medication. Nuedexta is made by Avanir Pharms and has been on the market since October 2010.
The FDA has also approved a generic version of Nuedexta, called Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide and Quinidine Sulfate, which is manufactured by Actavis Elizabeth. The generic drug was approved in October 2017.
How Much Does Nuedexta Cost
Nuedexta typically costs about $1,235 for a supply of 60 capsules. This is the ‘full price’ for someone who pays cash to a pharmacy. If you obtain Nuedexta via an insurance plan then you can expect the up-front price to be significantly less.
Ways to Save Money on Nuedexta Prescriptions
There are prescription discount cards and coupons for Nuedexta that can greatly reduce the cost of the drug, and there are also co-pay savings cards that can reduce the cost for a 30 or 90-day prescription dramatically. Also, there are patient assistance programs that are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and which can make it much more affordable for a low income, under-insured, or uninsured person to access the drug.
For example, the HealthWell Foundation offers a co-pay program that can save people money on Nuedexta if they have an FDA approved diagnosis. The foundation may help with the cost of insurance premiums or with the cost of the drug itself. You can learn more at HealthWell Foundation.
The Advanced Patient Services Program offers help for uninsured and underinsured people who have an FDA-approved diagnosis and who are unable to afford Nuedexta. As well as financial aid they offer co-pay and reimbursement assistance. This is run directly by Avanir.com, the makers of the Nuedexta branded drug.
Are More Generics Likely To Reach the Market?
Nuedexta is a branded drug, and Avenir Pharmaceuticals holds two patents for it. Those patents both relate directly to using dextromethorphan and quinidine to treat neurological disorders and were approved for the treatment of pseudobulbar affect. One of the patents is set to expire in July 2023 and the other is set to expire in August 2026. Until those patents expire, it is unlikely that other drug makers are going to start making generic versions of this drug.
Are there Alternatives to Nuedexta?
Some people use dextromethorphan by itself, or quinidine by itself, to treat the pseudobulbar affect. This can be effective, and it is a lot more budget-friendly. However, dextromethorphan taken in high doses can have some unwanted side-effects, which makes it less than ideal.
Another alternative is oxiracetam, although this does not treat all of the same issues as Nuedexta. One reason that it is considered as a treatment is that it tends to be more widely available, and therefore more affordable. The same goes for piracetam. Again, this drug can be beneficial for some people, however, it is not as effective as Nuedexta for treating PBA.
Paying for Nuedexta
Drug coupons can reduce the ‘up-front’ cost of 60 capsules of Nuedexta by as much as 75%, and if you have an ongoing prescription you can make your prescription refills cost as little as $30 by taking advantage of the aforementioned co-pay card.
Buying Nuedexta online is also a good way of reducing the cost of the drug. Many reusable discount codes can be a boon for those who are self-employed, don’t have particularly good coverage, or who are uninsured. There are Nuedexta coupons that are accepted at CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and many other pharmacies. You can’t usually use coupons with your insurance, but if your current insurance plan does not cover Nuedexta then it is a good option.
Don’t forget general Rx discount cards. You can find many of these online, and they work for numerous drugs, offering 20 to 75% off the up-front cost of the drug. Having an insurance policy is usually better than trying to find discount cards such as the one from nationaldrugcard.com, but discount cards make for a handy backup if you need medication that isn’t on your insurer’s approved list.
How Long Do You Need to Take Nuedexta For?
It takes time for Nuedexta to become fully effective for someone who has Pseudobulbar Affect. Typically, your doctor will ask you to take it for three months to see if it is going to work for you. Most people will notice some improvement after one week, and by twelve weeks of taking the drug is should be clear if it is helping to reduce or eliminate episodes. In recent trials, it was found that more than 80% of PBA sufferers found that Nuedexta worked to reduce the number of episodes they had. In fact, 29% found that they were episode-free after 12 weeks on the drug.
Nuedexta does not work for everyone and your doctor may want to try altering your dose or even suggest you try other drugs after taking Nuedexta for a few months. It is worth testing the Nuedexta, despite the cost, because it can be incredibly beneficial.