Daliresp side effects and how to avoid them

Daliresp is a brand-name medication manufactured by Forest Laboratories. It is classified as a PDE4 inhibitor used to treat lung diseases such as COPD. While Daliresp is generally well tolerated, there are some potential side effects that people should be aware of. The most common side effects of Daliresp include back pain and muscle spasms. Less common but more serious side effects can include suicidal thoughts and behavior.

Learn more about the side effects of Daliresp and what you can do to avoid them.

What is Daliresp (roflumilast)?

Daliresp is a prescription medication given to adults to treat severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is used to slow the progression of COPD and to decrease the number of flare-ups a patient has. The active ingredient in Daliresp is roflumilast, a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor (PDE4 inhibitor) that reduces inflammation in your lungs and airways, helping you to breathe more easily.

How does Daliresp help COPD?

Daliresp is FDA-approved as an add-on therapy to reduce the number of exacerbations in patients with severe COPD. It works by stopping your body from breaking down a substance called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). This is a type of signaling molecule that can dampen down inflammation in your body. Roflumilast blocks an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-4 that breaks down cAMP. This stops the enzyme from working, causing levels of cAMP to rise and inflammation in your body to decrease. By reducing inflammation in your airways and lungs, roflumilast opens them up and lets you breathe in more air.

Does Daliresp help you breathe better?

Yes. Daliresp is used in adults with severe COPD to reduce the number of flare-ups or the worsening of COPD symptoms. Daliresp should not, however, be used to treat sudden breathing problems.

Daliresp dosage

Daliresp is available in tablet form in the following doses: 500 mcg. The recommended starting dose of Daliresp is typically one 500 mcg tablet per day, with or without food. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed over time.

You are advised to read the medication guide provided with this medicine for the drug information and patient information, and always speak with your healthcare provider for medical advice about any changes to your dose so they can monitor and evaluate your condition.

When is the best time to take Daliresp?

Take Daliresp once each day, with or without food.

What happens if you stop taking Daliresp?

You are advised not to stop using Daliresp without speaking to your doctor first.

How long does it take for Daliresp to start working?

You may need to take Daliresp for several weeks before it starts to work. Speak to your doctor for medical advice if your symptoms do not improve using this medication.

Daliresp side effects

The most common side effects of Daliresp in clinical trials include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Flu-like symptoms

Sometimes, Daliresp can cause more serious side effects. When these occur, they can include:

  • Severe allergic reactions to the medication
  • An increased risk of mental health problems, including new or worsening anxiety and depression, and thoughts of suicide
  • Weight loss, which can become harmful if you lose too much weight

If you experience any of these serious side effects, stop taking Daliresp and seek medical attention immediately. You are encouraged to report the negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

How long do the side effects of Daliresp last?

In clinical trials, people who experienced diarrhea and nausea at the beginning of their treatment usually saw these side effects stop after around 4 weeks.

Daliresp drug interactions

Daliresp can interact with other medications, including:

  • Antiviral medications – ritonavir, atazanavir, indinavir, saquinavir, or nelfinavir
  • Antibiotics – rifampicin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, or telithromycin
  • Antifungal medications – ketoconazole and itraconazole
  • Anticonvulsant medications – carbamazepine, phenobarbital, or phenytoin
  • Birth control pills
  • CYP3A4 inhibitors or dual inhibitors that block CYP3A4 and CYP1A2 – fluvoxamine, enoxacin, cimetidine

Before taking Daliresp, be sure to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking to ensure they are safe to take at the same time.

Daliresp and prednisone

You may use Daliresp with prednisone, but you may not need prednisolone if the Daliresp works properly.

Daliresp contraindications

Daliresp is not a bronchodilator and should not be used to treat sudden and severe onsets of symptoms. Use your rescue inhaler to treat sudden and severe symptoms.

Do not take Daliresp if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient roflumilast
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Daliresp
  • Have moderate to severe liver problems (C to D on the Child-Pugh scale)
  • Are under 18 years of age

Talk to your doctor before taking Daliresp if you:

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Daliresp
  • Have a history of mood disorder or other mental health problems, particularly depression and/or suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Have any problems with your liver
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed – It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk

You should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Daliresp, to ensure it is safe for you.

How to avoid Daliresp side effects

The best way to avoid side effects is to take Daliresp as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, and do not take more or less than prescribed.

If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend ways to help reduce or prevent some of the side effects.

1. Stick to the recommended dosage

Take your prescribed dose of Daliresp that has been recommended by your healthcare professional. Do not take more or less than prescribed.

2. Monitor your blood sugar levels

If you have diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely while taking Daliresp. Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor and report any changes to your doctor immediately.

3. Drink plenty of fluids

Drink eight to 10 glasses of water or fluids every day to help prevent dehydration, which can make side effects worse.

4. Avoid alcohol

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Daliresp as it can increase your risk of ……

5. Don’t skip meals

Eating regular meals and snacks will help to prevent low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).

6. Check your feet

If you have diabetes, check your feet for any cuts, sores, or redness regularly. Tell your doctor if you experience problems with your feet while taking Daliresp.

7. Know the signs and symptoms of Daliresp side effects

Signs and symptoms of side effects include back pain and muscle spasms. If you experience these symptoms, speak to your doctor for medical advice.

8. Monitor your weight

Daliresp may cause weight loss. If you experience this side effect while taking Daliresp, get medical advice from your doctor.

9. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking

Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as they can interact with Daliresp.

10. Get regular medical checkups

It is important to get regular medical checkups and monitor your medical conditions. Your doctor will monitor your side effects and may adjust your dose of Daliresp as needed.

Medically reviewed

A medical professional has reviewed this article.

Jamie Winn, PharmD
Jamie Winn, PharmD

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Dr. Jamie Winn received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC. Jamie is a medical reviewer for NiceRx.

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The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.