In 2010, fingolimod became the latest MS drug treatment available. Before this FDA Approved MS Drug came to be, all the MS drugs used for slowing the progression of MS had to be given via injection. Fingolimod is taken orally once a day and has proved beneficial in slowing the progression of MS in patients. Preventing relapses from occurring is another use for fingolimod.
Fingolimod is able to reduce the severity of MS symptoms, as well as the frequency at which they occur. It is the first oral drug able to compete with the current injectable therapies supplied to people with Multiple Sclerosis. The severity of MS is reduced by fingolimod as this drug blocks the blood cells in lymph nodes. As these cells are blocked, they are no longer able to make their way to the spinal cord and brain.
This MS drug has provided many people with fantastic results and in a way that doesn’t involve receiving multiple injections each week.
Side Effects to be Aware of With the New MS Drug
Getting this MS drug approved was a huge step forward for many people with Multiple Sclerosis. During the initial dose of fingolimod, most patients experience a drastic drop in heart rate, which is why the first dose is generally given by a doctor in an office setting. The doctor will be able to monitor the patient’s heart rate in case any complications occur. The monitoring is supposed to take place for at least 6 hours. The patient also needs to have immunity to the vricella-zoster virus, commonly known as ‘chicken pox’.
Despite its success, there are still side effects that need to be mentioned. Common side effects patients have reported while taking fingolimod were diarrhea, headache, back pain, high blood pressure, blurred vision, influenza, coughing, and elevated numbers of liver enzymes. It’s also suggested that regular eye exams be had, due to the macular edema that has occurred in some patients. These side effects don’t present themselves in everyone with Multiple Sclerosis and the benefits of fingolimod greatly outweigh any of the negative aspects documented.
As a new MS drug treatment, fingolimod has improved a copious number of lives. A doctor will check for any drug interactions which may occur as well. Fingolimod has been shown to react with ketoconazole. When these two medications are taken together, the incidence of side effects may be increased. Despite this interaction, this FDA Approved MS Drug still has much potential.
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