Fingolimod, approved in 2010, has been used to treat multiple sclerosis, particularly the relapsing-remitting (RR) form. It is a sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulator, which acts on the lymphocytes in the lymph nodes. It inhibits lymph nodes from contributing to an autoimmune reaction. The success rate observed has been that it reduced the rate of relapses in the RR multiple sclerosis by one-half over two years. (2)
Role in Treating Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that impacts the central nervous system (CNS). It is commonly prevalent in young adults and considered a disabling neurological disease. In this disease, the myelin sheath which coats the nerve cells is attacked by the immune system. MS is accompanied by symptoms of tingling and burning sensations, numbness, chronic pain, muscle coordination and balance of the body, weakness of the muscles of the hands and legs, fatigue, problems in vision, loss of bladder control, difficulty in thinking clearly and depression. (1)
Global statistics say that about 2.5 million people worldwide are affected by Multiple Sclerosis, the most common being the relapsing-repeating (RR) MS, where the symptoms come and go. MS is a debilitating disease, with no cure. Treatment given can reduce the intensity and frequency of the relapses, and delay the progression of the disease. In MS, the only progress is the disease not showing any degression. (1)
Fingolimod is effective at reducing inflammatory disease activity and its efficacy in preventing the disease MS is subject to extensive study. It may delay the disability effect, but the risk versus benefit profile of Fingolimod remains unclear. The drug was designed to reduce the frequency of the severity of the problems caused by Multiple Sclerosis. It takes action by working as an immunosuppressant or keeping the immune cells trapped in the lymph nodes so that the immune cells do not reach the brain and spinal cord or the Central Nervous System. The drug is mainly used to treat the RR or relapsing-repeating MS in adults and children above 10 years of age. (3)
Administration of Fingolimod may cause side effects as fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, stiffness of the neck, incoherency in speech, thought, vision or muscle incoordination. Any discomfort in breathing, blood vessel problems in the brain, liver problems, blurred vision or eye problems, diarrhoea, back pain and others should be immediately reported to the doctor. Consultation and medical prescription by the doctor are important before administration of Fingolimod. (4)
The drug Fingolimod does not cure MS but it may delay or reduce the onset of the symptoms.
Alternative and Complementary therapies for MS
Sometimes complementary health approaches or diets and dietary supplements are administered, which may be an alternative cure to the diet. Diet supplements as Fish Oil have been useful in the management of MS. Vitamin D supplement is beneficial to lower the progression of the disease. Ginkgo has been suggested in improving the clarity of thinking, but the efficacy is not proven. Other therapies as yoga and reflexology are good for MS. Acupuncture as an alternative therapy is efficient when done by a trained practitioner. Marijuana may increase the risk by having addictive properties. Taking too many supplements of Vitamin D can be extremely harmful. (1)
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Anzen Export’s blog posts have been written with the information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical team strive to provide relevant information through such articles. To be best informed, we advise consulting a doctor about an ingredient or medicine before taking it.