Ampyra Walks Away with FDA Approval

redwhitepillThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first drug designed to improve walking in adults with multiple sclerosis. Ampyra will be manufactured under licenses by Elan Pharma and distributed starting in March by Acorda Therapeutics. In clinical trials, patients who took Ampyra had faster walking speeds than those who took a placebo.

The FDA warned that taking more than the recommended dose (10 mg two times a day) may cause seizures. The agency also stated that patients with kidney disease should not take Ampyra. Side effects of Ampyra can include kidney and bladder infections, insomnia, dizziness, headache, nausea, weakness, back pain, and problems with balance.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system. It impairs both motor and cognitive functions. Patients may experience trouble walking, loss of coordination, forgetfulness, uncontrollable laughter or crying, slurred speech and more. Multiple sclerosis has no cure. Bayhill TherapeuticsAdeona Pharmaceuticals, NovImmune, Opexa Therapeutics and Peptimmune are among many companies working to treat or cure this debilitating disease. Earlier this month, Adeona announced that it had received an additional $860,440 grant for a clinical trial of its oral drug candidate to treat relapsing, remitting MS.

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