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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Buphenyl

Generic Name: sodium phenylbutyrate (Pronunciation: SOE dee um FEN il BUE ti rate)

What is sodium phenylbutyrate (Buphenyl)?

Sodium phenylbutyrate is converted to a substance in the body that helps the kidneys eliminate waste substances from the body. These waste substances can produce ammonia, which is toxic if it builds up in your blood.

Sodium phenylbutyrate is used to treat urea cycle disorders in people who lack certain liver enzymes needed to properly eliminate waste substances from the body. This medication helps prevent a build-up of ammonia in the blood.

Sodium phenylbutyrate may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of sodium phenylbutyrate (Buphenyl)?

Even with treatment, urea cycle disorders can cause a build-up of ammonia in the blood which can result in life-threatening side effects. Seek emergency medical attention if you notice any signs of ammonia build-up, including mood or behavior changes, memory loss, thinking problems, muscle twitching, back and forth movement of the eyes, vomiting, increasing weakness, slurred speech, seizure (convulsions), and fainting.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using sodium phenylbutyrate and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • feeling like you might pass out; or
  • changes in mood, personality, or behavior.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • changes in menstrual periods;
  • loss of appetite;
  • headache;
  • increased body odor;
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about sodium phenylbutyrate (Buphenyl)?

Even with treatment, urea cycle disorders can cause a build-up of ammonia in the blood which can result in life-threatening side effects. Seek emergency medical attention if you notice any signs of ammonia build-up, including mood or behavior changes, memory loss, thinking problems, muscle twitching, back and forth movement of the eyes, vomiting, increasing weakness, slurred speech, seizure (convulsions), and fainting.

Before taking sodium phenylbutyrate, tell your doctor if you have congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, severe kidney disease, swelling or fluid retention, or a seizure disorder.

Take this medication with each meal. Divide your total daily dose among all of your meals for the day.

Sodium phenylbutyrate is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, dialysis, or other medications. Follow your diet and medication routines very closely.

Do not give this medication to a child who weighs less than 44 pounds unless your doctor tells you to.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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