Tag: <span>ms drug</span>

Ampyra [am-PEER-ah], the brand name for a new drug named fampridine-SR, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. The new drug is the first Multiple Sclerosis drug to enhance some neurological functioning for MS patients.

Dr. Andrew Goodman, chief of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s (URMC) Multiple Sclerosis Center, and his colleague Steven Schwid, M.D. who died in 2008, have studied the newly approved drug for more than 10 years.

Because most MS treatments are studied in terms of the way they slow the disease progression or prevent relapses, this medication required a new way of thinking about evaluating a Multiple Sclerosis medication. Because fampridine-SR restores some function, the study protocols developed at URMC were designed to measure functional outcomes. One study protocol measured the walking speed improvements over 25 feet.

According to the news release on the URMC web site, a significant number of study participants with Multiple Sclerosis increased walking speed by 25%, reported they could walk farther, climb stairs better and stand longer.

In short, this seems like a promising new drug! Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., the manufacturer of Ampyra, has developed a website to provide additional information to patients and physicians.

As with all MS drugs and therapies, there are significant potential side effects. The Ampyra Medication Guide offers these safety precautions:

  • “Your chance of having a seizure is higher if you take too much AMPYRA or if you have kidney problems.
  • Do not take AMPYRA if you have ever had a seizure.
  • Before taking AMPYRA tell your doctor if you have kidney problems.
  • Take AMPYRA exactly as prescribed by your doctor.”

Important Links

Ampyra Web Site
URMC News Release

MS Medications

MSNBC.com has a piece this morning about the Multiple Sclerosis drug Tysabri® (natalizumab). The drugmakers have issued warnings to doctors because Tysabri is causing significant liver damage to some patients who take it. In some patients the damage occurred as early as six days after beginning the treatment.

MSNBC.com : Multiple sclerosis drug linked to liver injury

Information about this new warning is available from the FDA web site, too:

Read the revisions to the Warnings and Precautions section of the full Prescribing Information:


(Notice, too, I’ve added a link to the Food and Drug Administration’s web site to the “MS Resource Sites”. The FDA is at: http://www.fda.gov)

The liver is an incredible organ which often goes unappreciated. Because it cleans the blood, anything in the bloodstream can impact the health of the liver. MedicineNet.com has a good article titled, “Drug-Induced Liver Disease” by Dennis Lee, MD. If you care for an MS patient, this article should be required reading.

Caregiver Tip: Whether the person you care for takes Tysabri or other medications, read “Drug-Induced Liver Disease” and pay attention to signs and symptoms of liver damage.

MS Medications