FDA Approves Multiple Sclerosis Drug That Aids Walking
January 23, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Multiple sclerosis, a devastating chronic disease that affects about 400,000 Americans causes numbness and eventual paralysis of a patient’s arms and legs. For the first time, a drug has been developed to improve the walking ability of MS sufferers. Although the improvement in walking speed, during testing of the new drug was small, just a few seconds can improve a patient’s quality of life and prolong independent living.
The drug, Ampyra developed by Acorda Therapeutics Inc., should be available sometime in March, according to Chief Executive Ron Cohen. After reviewing the results of two clinical trials and data showing that the drug was safe, the Federal Drug administration gave its approval on Friday.
The FDA said Ampyra can cause seizures if taken in higher-than-recommended doses. And the drug should not be taken by patients suffering from moderate to severe kidney disease.
The drug does not contain a boxed safety warning, as was expected at the beginning of the clinical trials.