What You Need to Know About Natalizumab (Tysabri)

Natalizumab (Tysabri) is a drug used in the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). We’ve put together a list of things to know about the treatment using information from tysabri.com and the National MS Society.

MORE: Early use of Tecfidera and Tysabri improve MS patients’ outcome according to a study

  • Natalizumab is administered intravenously, usually every 28 days.
  • Patients are monitored for an hour after infusion for any adverse effects.
  • It has been proven to slow the progression of many common MS symptoms.
  • Can decrease the number of MS flares a person suffers.
  • Reduction of relapse rate in the clinical trial was more than 60 percent.
  • Natalizumab works by prohibiting the binding of white blood cells to molecules in the spinal cord and brain, limiting the normal immune response.
  • Natalizumab was approved by the FDA in 2004 after just a year of data from a two-year clinical trial.
  • People who take natalizumab are at a higher risk of developing the rare brain infection, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), and the risk increases the longer you take the drug or if the patient has had the JC virus. Those with other immune-compromising diseases are advised not to take natalizumab.
  • Patients will undergo a risk assessment before beginning the treatment.
  • Regular liver tests are conducted to determine white blood cell counts and check for liver damage.
  • Common side effects include headaches, rashes, fatigue, pains in arms and legs, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, lung infection, nose and throat infections, depression, and vaginitis.
  • Natalizumab is not advised for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

MORE: Tysabri shows long-term safety and efficacy in study of  Japanese RRMS patients 

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

12 comments

  1. Dave Kirchner says:

    I was on Tysabri, fantastic, like I was not sick. Had to get off after 2 or so years due to JC virus. Been off for 2 years, on Rituxan, not as good for me. I have asked if your PML level decreases over time so that you can re-start Tysabri treatments. No one can answer. Also appears now that PML is not as lethal and damaging as once was. If true it may be worth re-taking. Any info out there?

    • Martin Halligan says:

      I understand most American adults ARE JC positive. Certainly I am and long have been. I just had Infusion 103 a and will. have 104 next week.

    • Ann Kenney says:

      I was on Tysabri for ten years. I went off it because of UTIs and two throat infections. One throat infection put me in the hospital. I am on Gilenya now, but notice walking, balance, and vision is worse. I had a severe rebound of MS activity after cessation of Tysabri dosing. I was told you can go on another drug sooner now after cessation of Tysabri dosing. I am requesting Tysabri again with dosing every six weeks to prevent UTIs and infections. I hope that works!

  2. John Singer says:

    You forgot chronic UTIs. I have had 10 UTIs on Tysabri, 8 of which I was hospitalized. A year and a half off this poison, I still get UTIs. Whether it is from the Tysabri still or not… That is subject to debate but, I suspect it is.

  3. Ann Kenney says:

    I had UTIs on Tysabri. On Gilenya now and no UTIs. Tysabri did a better job on my walking, balance, and vision symptoms. May have to change the dosing to every 6 weeks instead of every 4 weeks.

  4. Claire says:

    I have been on tysabri nearly 5years now.. I had the issue of UTI’s at the beginning also but had suffered from them previously from being diagnosed. Knowing the antibiotics were not always going to be effective I sought herbal approaches and found organic sulfur helped me and I have not had a UTI since thankfully! Tysabri has worked incredibly for me and just hope I can stay on it until they can find something better or even an accessible cure.

  5. Roslyn Jonsson says:

    I’ve been on tysabri for 5.5yrs, and I am so grateful to have it. I’ve been very lucky, as I’ve had no side effects thus far, except I do suspect that it’s responsible for my tooth decay. In my opinion though, its a very small price to pay for the chance of living as normal a life as possible. Im JC neg, and hope to remain on tysabri until something better comes along, or a cure is found.

  6. Amanda Nightingale says:

    I just had my first round of Tysabri. Holy side effects! migraines, sore muscles, hives, rash, tired, trouble breathing, itchy. Still trying to stay positive about it but Dear Lord. Hope it gets easier.

  7. tina kitchen says:

    I had my first treatment of tysabri feb 7 3 days later I got flu like symptoms but not the flu I had a horrible sore throat not strep and 3 weeks later my throat is still a little sore. I ended up having to have steroid shot and a prescription of antibiotics and steroids I just wonder if this was from the infusion or is it the crud that’s been going around. Seems every one has it.

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