Novartis AG announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an oral drug that treats the most common type of multiple sclerosis. This type of multiple sclerosis is called relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
Current multiple sclerosis (MS) medications are taken by infusion or injection. The new medication called fingolimod or Gilenya is taken in capsule form and is taken daily. Many multiple sclerosis patients have to endure painful injections, so treatment via pill form may be a welcome change. This medication is showing promise in the slowing of the progression of the disease and has shown to reduce the severity and frequency of the symptoms of MS.
Multiple Sclerosis is a medical condition of the central nervous system where the immune system attacks the layer of fat which protects the nerves in the spine, brain and eye. As this layer is destroyed, scar tissue can form which interferes with, or blocks nerve signals and can cause symptoms that include difficulty with vision, trouble walking and pain.
Gilenya manipulates the immune system, providing beneficial results for MS patients. Although taking the pill can alleviate the pain and injections and infusions, it is not without side effects. These side effects can include eye toxicity, reduced lung function, increased blood pressure, increased risk of infection and decreased heart function.