Ampyra (dalfampridine) extended release tablets is the only medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since January 2010 to help improve walking in adults with MS. This was demonstrated in clinical trials showing that patients treated with Ampyra walked faster than those treated with placebo.
This therapy is also approved in Europe, available under the brand name Fampyra.
Walking (gait) difficulties are among the most common debilitating problems in people with MS, and is related to muscle weakness, spasticity, balance, sensory deficit and fatigue.
The most common adverse events reported with this medicine in people with MS were urinary tract infection, trouble sleeping, dizziness, headache, nausea, weakness, back pain, problems with balance, multiple sclerosis relapse, burning, tingling, or itching of the skin, irritation in the nose and throat, constipation, indigestion, and pain in the throat.
Ampyra treatment should be stopped in case there is a seizure, which can happen even if one has never had one. The chances of having a seizure are higher if there is an overdosage of ampyra or if the kidney function is decreases, which is common after 50 years of age.
Ampyra is a broad spectrum potassium channel blocker, it’s exact mechanisms of action are not fully known. Animal studies showed an increase of electrical signals between neurons through the inhibition of potassium channels.
Generic versions of dalfampridine extended-release tablets are available.
Latest update: March 15, 2021
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