About PBA

PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA) is a neurologic condition that causes sudden, frequent episodes of uncontrollable crying and/or laughing. PBA is caused by certain neurologic diseases or brain injuries, including:

  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s disease/dementia
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Other neurologic conditions

During a PBA episode, the crying or laughing that is expressed may be exaggerated or may not match what the person is feeling inside. PBA is a specific condition, distinct from other types of emotional lability that may occur in patients with neurologic disease or injury.

PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA) can happen when certain neurologic conditions or brain injuries damage the areas of the brain involved in the expression of our emotions, specifically crying and/or laughing. This damage can disrupt brain signaling, similar to a "short circuit" that results in PBA episodes of uncontrollable crying or laughing.

People with PBA often describe their PBA episodes as upsetting and may be confused as to what is causing them. The crying or laughing episodes may be exaggerated or not match the situation or how they really feel inside.

PBA is a condition that results in sudden, frequent, uncontrollable crying and/or laughing that doesn't match how you feel; it results from a brain injury or neurologic condition. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by persistent sadness or loss of interest or ability to experience pleasure.

Read more about PBA vs Depression.

Although the exact way in which NUEDEXTA works in people isn’t fully understood, it is thought to act inside the brain. NUEDEXTA is the only medicine specifically approved by the FDA to treat PBA.

Read more about How NUEDEXTA Can Help.

In a clinical study, some patients experienced fewer PBA episodes after 1 week of taking NUEDEXTA. Patients averaged 82% fewer PBA episodes at the end of the 12-week study.* Your results may vary.

Results vs baseline. Patients taking placebo experienced 19% fewer PBA episodes at Week 1 and 45% fewer episodes at Week 12 and 29% were completely free of PBA episodes in the final 2 weeks of the 12 week study.

*Average reduction
Pioro EP, Brooks BR, Cummings J, et al. Dextromethorphan plus ultra low-dose quinidine reduces pseudobulbar affect. Ann Neurol. 2010;68:693-702.

The most common side effects of NUEDEXTA are diarrhea, dizziness, cough, vomiting, weakness, and swelling of the feet and ankles. Each of these side effects was seen in less than 15% of patients taking NUEDEXTA in a clinical trial for PBA.

If you feel dizzy, be extra careful not to fall, especially if you have a hard time walking or a problem with falling. This is not a complete list of side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. Please see the Important Safety Information below for additional information. For a complete list of possible side effects, please see Full Prescribing Information.

Be sure to talk about this with your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe NUEDEXTA in addition to other medications you may be taking. However, NUEDEXTA and certain other medicines can interact, causing serious side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medicines, supplements, and vitamins that you take before starting NUEDEXTA. Before starting a new medicine, remind your doctor if you are taking NUEDEXTA.

You can use the NUEDEXTA Co-Pay Calculator to instantly find your out-of-pocket cost for NUEDEXTA and learn about options to help reduce your prescription costs.

If you have private insurance, a Co-Pay Savings Card may allow you to pay no more than $30 for your NUEDEXTA prescription and refills. Restrictions apply.

If you have limited income and no health insurance, the NUEDEXTA Patient Assistance Program may cover up to a 6-month supply. You can apply online or call 1-855-4NUEDEX (1-855-468-3339).

Call 1-855-4NUEDEX (1-855-468-3339), Monday−Friday, 8 AM−7 PM ET, to ask a representative about insurance coverage and support. We can provide assistance and connect you to reimbursement support.

PBA Partners is a program that provides you with support and tips for living with PBA, plus information about taking NUEDEXTA. From doctor discussion tips to helpful reminders, you’ll find help to support you every step of the way. Sign up here.

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