Kuvan® (sapropterin dihydrochloride) Patient
Yorktown, New York
Liam is happiest when he’s playing soccer, Legos, or with his dog Finn. He says he’s got huge plans for the future. “I want to be an oceanographer like Robert Ballard and raise the Titanic” he says. “I’ll make a movie and probably hire Harrison Ford for the leading role.”
His mother explains the difficulties the family had before they were able to bring Liam’s Phe levels under control.
“Life revolved around him, his formula, and his food,” says his mother Rosie. “There was no balance in our home because we were focused on trying to control his Phe. He was unhappy and struggling, so we were unhappy and struggling.”
Dynamics at home are much different today, however.
Liam has been on Kuvan therapy since December 2007. “My life is pretty good now that my Phe levels are lower,” he says.
Before starting therapy, Liam’s blood Phe levels peaked at 7 mg/dL, but today, by both maintaining a low-Phe diet and taking his daily dose of Kuvan, he’s holding steady at about 4 mg/dL.*
“Before Kuvan, I understood my diet, but I didn’t really cooperate because I didn’t like food being taken away. I would feel angry and sad because I couldn’t have any foods I like,” he recalls. “I’m still eating the same food as before, but since I started taking Kuvan, I’ve been more cooperative because I feel good that my Phe is lower,” he continues; “basically I am a success story.”
“I think Liam is happier now,” recalls his sister, Catriona. “He is eating better and does more activities outside.”
Now, with Phe levels under control, Rosie says that Liam has been better able to deal with his low-protein PKU diet.
“In the days before Kuvan, Liam had a can-do attitude in all areas of life except his diet. Now that attitude is applied to dietary compliance and managing his Phe levels,” she says. “He’s more compliant with his diet and he’s taking his vitamin supplements and medical formula. Now he’s easily getting about 60 grams of protein each day from formula, while in the past, every ounce was a struggle.”
He still eats the same low-protein PKU foods, like rice and spaghetti, but now he can also eat some foods with more natural protein, Rosie says. Occasionally, Liam can even enjoy a small portion of his favorite food, fava beans.
“I am delighted that Liam’s Phe levels are better now,” Rosie says, “and most days are good—days when I know Liam has had enough Phe, protein, and calories and we can all go to bed satisfied.”
Important Safety Information
It is not possible to know if Kuvan will work for you without a trial of the medicine. Your doctor will check your blood Phe levels when you start taking Kuvan to see if the medicine is working.
Starting Kuvan does not eliminate the need for ongoing dietary management. Any change to your diet may impact your blood Phe level. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Your doctor and dietitian will continue to monitor your diet and blood Phe levels throughout your treatment with Kuvan to make sure your blood Phe levels are not too high or too low. If you have a fever, or if you are sick, your Phe level may go up. Tell your doctor and dietitian as soon as possible so they can make any necessary changes to your treatment.
Children younger than 7 years old treated with Kuvan doses of 20 mg/kg per day are at an increased risk for low levels of blood Phe compared with children 7 years and older. Frequent blood monitoring is recommended in this population to ensure that blood Phe levels do not fall too low.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had liver or kidney problems, have poor nutrition or have a loss of appetite, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Kuvan is a prescription medicine and should not be taken by people who are allergic to any of its ingredients. Kuvan and other medicines may interact with each other. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbal and dietary supplements.
If you forget to take your dose of Kuvan, take it as soon as you remember that day. Do not take 2 doses in a day. If you take too much Kuvan, call your doctor for advice.
The most common side effects reported when using Kuvan are headache, runny nose and nasal congestion, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, and cough. Additional adverse reactions reported in connection with worldwide marketing include sore throat, heartburn or pain in the esophagus, inflammation of the lining of the stomach, indigestion, stomach pain, and nausea. These are not all the possible side effects seen with Kuvan. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Kuvan can cause serious side effects, including:
- Severe allergic reactions. Stop taking Kuvan and get medical help right away if you develop any of these symptoms of a severe allergic reaction:
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis).
Gastritis can happen with Kuvan and may be severe. Call your doctor right away if you have any:
- Severe upper stomach-area discomfort or pain
- Blood in your vomit or stool
- Black, tarry stools
- Nausea and vomiting
- Too much or constant activity (hyperactivity) can happen with Kuvan. Tell your doctor if you have any signs of hyperactivity, including fidgeting, moving around or talking too much.
For more information, call BioMarin Patient and Physician Support (BPPS) at 1-866-906-6100. Please read the full Patient Information by clicking here.