Amiloride is a therapy used for treating high blood pressure and heart conditions. Research has suggested that amiloride — as a sodium channel blocker — may have a neuroprotective effect in multiple sclerosis (MS) because it blocks sodium and calcium from entering the nerve cells, which could lead to axon damage.

A pilot study involving patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) showed that participants taking amiloride experienced less nerve damage, less loss of brain volume, and a slower decrease of disability compared to the year prior to treatment.

Amiloride is one of three drugs being investigated in a Phase 2 study called MS-SMART (NCT0190259). The study recruited 440 people with SPMS to test the safety and effectiveness of three different drugs – riluzole, amiloride, and fluoxetine — over two years. This study is expected to end in 2018.

Common side effects of amiloride are diarrhea, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, and weakness.

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