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FDA approves drug for MS walking problems
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FDA approves drug for MS walking problems

Acorda Therapeutics Announces FDA Approval of AMPYRA™ (dalfampridine) to Improve Walking in People with Multiple Sclerosis – Demonstrated by Increases in Walking Speed

First and Only FDA-Approved Therapy Addressing Walking Impairment

AMPYRA Previously Referred to as Fampridine-SR

AMPYRA Expected to be Available by Prescription in March 2010

Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOR) today announced that it has received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for AMPYRA™ (dalfampridine), an oral treatment to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). This was demonstrated by an increase in walking speed. AMPYRA demonstrated efficacy in people with all four major types of MS (relapsing remitting, secondary progressive, progressive relapsing and primary progressive). AMPYRA can be used alone or with existing MS therapies, including immunomodulator drugs.

the entire release is available on this financial news page ...

http://www.finanznachrichten.de/nachrichten-2010-01/15961775-acorda-therapeutics-announces-fda-approval-of-ampyra-dalfampridine-to-improve-walking-in-people-with-multiple-sclerosis-demonstrated-by-increases-004.htm

or google "ampyra fda approval" to find more on this.

I now really wish I had bought their stock!

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17 Comments Post a Comment
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http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100123/FDAs-Ampyra-approval-wonderful-news-for-people-with-MS-experiencing-walking-problems.aspx


Q. What are the potential side effects of Ampyra?

A. In the first phase III study, common adverse events (side effects) experienced more often by those on active treatment included back pain, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue, nausea and balance disorder. Two serious adverse events led participants to discontinue taking the drug (one case of anxiety and one seizure in a person who developed sepsis from a urinary tract infection). In the second phase III study, additional common adverse events in those on therapy included urinary tract infection, falls, and headache.

I know all drugs have side effects and I have been lucky having had few of them.  But it seems wrong to have balance problems as a side effect.  Do you think it is because ppl who have been experiencing difficulties are now not being careful or is it a true sense of loss of balance.  We know that walking is essentially loosing your balancing then catching it again.

No I looked at that again and it said balance disorder.  I would sure like to know more about that.  Still it is an amazing opportunity as everyone will not experience the side effects and no one should experience them all.  Like other meds it will work differently with each individual.  I sure would like to walk a little better myself ;))

terry
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I can't wait to try it at least.  Maybe I will be able to reduce some of the other meds and the side effects will balance out.  
Lets keep our fingers crossed.

D
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Thanks for posting this, Lulu! It sounds very interesting.

I am not diagnosed with anything, but walking speed and endurance have become one of my biggest problems. The PT I'm seeing thinks it's nerve damage, perhaps from my scoliosis. If the exercises she's prescribed don't help significantly over the next couple of months, I might ask my doctor if I could try this drug, just to see what happens.
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I'm with you Nancy T!  I'm increasingly frustrated by the inability to build any kind of stamina or strength.  I'm soooo glad I'm mobile enough that most people don't notice a deficit.  On the other hand, my lack of progress has caused me to abandon activities I really wasn't ready to give up.

Side effects?  I've got all that stuff already so how would I know?  They seem to be common among people with MS.  I wonder if these 'side effects' were new to the people in the study or just things they reported had occurring during the trial.

I guess I'll have to do some looking around at any info available.  I'm very interested in what the drug actually DOES that improves walking in people with MS.

Mary
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751951_tn?1406636463
Gee, here I thought I'd found a scoop!

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/2/other_diseases/vitamin_supplements_may_help_multiple_sclerosis_2301101210.html
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751951_tn?1406636463
Drat.  Why didn't that "text" wrap?

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/2/other_diseases/vitamin_supplements_may_help_multiple_sclerosis_2301101210.html

...supplements_may_help_multiple_sclerosis_2301101210.html
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333672_tn?1273796389
I am on the compounded version of this drug, 4-aminopyridine. The new version is sustained release so should work better over time and also lower the likelihood of side effects. It is a potassium channel blocker, which means that it lowers the action potential for neurons to fire. Since the bar that has to be surpassed for nerves to fire is lower, it is easier for them to keep going and this is apparently how it improves endurance, nerve fatigue and walking.

I would not say that the effect is dramatic, but it might give you a boost (actually one reason the FDA hesitated on approving it is that they weren't sure the therapeutic effect was big enough; they also found that there were responders and non-responders). At first I thought it was really helping and then after a few weeks I thought not so much. However, the couple times I have tried stopping it, I seemed to develop many more problems fairly quickly (like not even being able to stand up in a store while hanging on to a cart and waiting for my husband to pick something out) so I've stuck with it.

It can cause seizures (for the same reason as it helps; it makes the neurons fire more easily) and death if you overdose (it started out as a bird poison), but unless you are prone to seizures, you're probably not likely to have problems. The only side effect I've had is more tingling in the face and how much to attribute that to the 4-ap is unclear; I had plenty of tingling before the drug.

sho
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1045086_tn?1332130022
Thanks sho for your report.  That makes it clearer than any report on the news services.

Celebrex sometimes leaves me wondering if it's working too.  But when I've had to stop it before procedures I realize just how much pain it was relieving.  Then I wonder if it's a rebound type reaction that would go away if I stayed off of it.  I'm never brave enough to try.
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Thanks Sho, I was in a goffy mood this morning and found myself wondering if it would speed other things up, too.  Could I pee faster?  Will I think faster?  Could I cook faster?  I'll bet, if I tried, I could drive faster, too!

I'm not making light of this.  It is wonderful news to someone who has slowed down so much, I am about to be reclassified as a statue.  I think being merely ornamental has tax consequences...

Quizzle
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Watch out for those pigeons, Doc!
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You gave me a good morning chuckle Quix.  Thanks.

I'd like to walk better, steadier, and further.  Faster?  I guess that would follow.  Is that why the test uses speed as a successful marker?  Or is it a reflection of society's better = faster?  I'm OK with slow to a point.  If someone needs me to be faster they should put wheels ON me instead of pills IN me.  

disclaimer 1:  Answers to questions are not required nor necessarily requested.  They will however, always be welcomed.

disclaimer 2:  A genuine thank you to all the researchers out there.  I know all these steps along the way will help get us where we want to be in the end.  Keep up the good work.
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I'm wondering - seriously - if it would improve other reflexes.  Sometimes my hand doesn't move as fast as I want it to, and it feels like my brain is telling it to go - but no go.
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333672_tn?1273796389
For a somewhat less glowing assessment:

http://industry.bnet.com/pharma/10006294/acorda-therapeutics-ms-drug-ampyra-could-stumble/

Note also that at the end of the article, they anticipate the annual price tag to be at least $10,000.

sho
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147426_tn?1317269232
Wow, that article referenced by Sho really makes me thing this med is getting too much hype.  It is good that the NMSS is so politically strong, but it might have unintended consequences.

Q
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Oh Boy!!!!!!

I am really sitting here and thinking;

Would this make me into "Roadrunner  Beep Beep"  or
do I keep my families endearing name of  "Slow shoes"   LOL.

This med is quiite a lot to think about  I think I want to be slow and steady


Linda
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Laura,
Did you happen to read Lisa Emirch's extensive post on AMPYRA - http://www.*************.com/multiple-sclerosis/c/19065/102100/ampyra

It's got a good historical overview of the drug development process -- it took over 40 years to develop! Yikes.

Also has some personal stories from folks that were taking AMPYRA/Fampridine.

Justine
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Thanks for pointing me to this article - I found it by googling Lisa Emirch ampyra if anyone else wants to read more of this.

L
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