Pharma

Ampyra gets approval for Multiple Sclerosis

The FDA has approved the drug, Ampyra (generic name dalfampridine, formerly known as fampridine), which is the first Multiple Sclerosis therapy that is taken orally and the first of its kind to receive FDA approval. It is designed to help people with any type of MS improve their walking speed. Phase III clinical trials of Ampyra showed that 35 and 43 percent of patients experienced, on average, a consistent improvement in their walking speed, increasing it by about 25 percent. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, even a modest improvement in walking ability could mean that thousands of people could benefit from the drug. The drug can be used by most people with multiple sclerosis according to Dr. John Richert, utive Vice President of Research and Clinical Programmes at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

However, the drug is not for people having a history of seizures or people who have moderate to severe kidney disease. Patients will now be able to skip the compounding pharmacy and get a consistent exact dosage in a guaranteed time released formula which would lower the risk of getting a toxic dose instead of a therapeutic dose. Further study and clinical practice may help to determine the extent to which the drug may impact other functions, and may also provide hints as to which patients are most likely to respond positively to the therapy. This drug would not help nerves that have been destroyed but people should try to see if it works for them. Ampyra will not work for everyone and its most likely that people will have different responses so they should consult their doctors before starting a therapy on Ampyra.

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