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.
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.
Ampyra is usually taken by mouth 10 mg twice daily, approximately 12 hours apart up to a maximum dosage of 20 mg daily.
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 and it is unknown how it works. Animal studies showed an increase of electrical signals between neurons through inhibition of the potassium channels.
There are no generic versions of Ampyra approved.
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