January 25, 2020

New Oral MS Drug Reduces Relapses Associated with the Condition

It is always exciting when a new medication is posed to come out on the market.  There is a sense of hopefulness that this will be the treatment option that will work best for whatever condition ails you.  What is even better and more exciting is when the drug is the first of its kind for a particular disease or illness.  The newest medication to reach these ranks is drug maker Novartis’s oral medication for multiple sclerosis, Gilenia.  This drug is the first of its kind for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and it is backed by a tremendous reduction rate for relapses of the disabling condition.

The drug, which is administered orally, was found to reduce relapses of multiple sclerosis by sixty-two percent in newly diagnosed patients, according to the American Academy of Neurology.  Relapses were reduced by forty-four percent in patients who had already been diagnosed with the disorder.  Moreover, additional data has shown that individuals taking Gilenia over a two year period had significant reductions in relapses, as well as brain lesions.  This data was compared to patients who were taking a more traditional beta blocker before switching to Gildenia.

The drug, however, is not without its concerns.  Reuters reports that Gildenia and its oral equivalent made by Merck may have serious complications on the immune system, as well as other challenging side effects.  It will be up to these companies to minimize these risks, as well as show that the benefits of the drug far outweigh any potential problems.  The possible side effects, however, are being taken seriously by the Food and Drug Administration, which has requested an advisory meeting to evaluate these risks and the product.

The company and the medical community remain optimistic, however, that this drug will be on the market sooner rather than later.  They believe that its superior results and the convenience of being able to take it orally will greatly boost the drug’s positive aspects.  It would be nice for the millions of multiple sclerosis sufferers to have an option to take a drug by mouth, rather than having to schedule a doctor’s appointment for treatment.  Additionally, with such a fantastic success rate, it will likely provide relief to many individuals who thus far have been through numerous treatment options with no change in their condition.

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