Drugs Home > Precautions and Warnings With Ivacaftor

People who receive ivacaftor should be aware that this medicine can increase the risk for certain complications, such as liver problems and drug interactions. Other precautions for safely using ivacaftor include warnings against using this drug in people who have certain allergies. Warnings may also apply to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking ivacaftor (Kalydeco™) if you have:
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Ivacaftor Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
  • Ivacaftor can cause liver problems. In order to monitor for this, your healthcare provider should check your liver enzymes using a basic, standard blood test before you start ivacaftor, once every three months for the first year, and then annually thereafter.
  • Ivacaftor may react with a number of medications. Some of these interactions can make ivacaftor less effective, while others increase the risk for ivacaftor side effects. Pay careful attention to these interactions and check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist any time you have a medication change (see Drug Interactions With Ivacaftor for more information).
  • Ivacaftor is a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medicine during pregnancy (see Kalydeco and Pregnancy for more information).
  • It is unknown if ivacaftor passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using ivacaftor (see Kalydeco and Breastfeeding for more information).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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