1 What is Ampyra?

Brand: Ampyra

Generic: Dalfampridine

Dalfampridine is a potassium channel blocker which is used in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease of central nervous system which is a relatively common disorder affecting more than 400,000 Americans.

This medicine is used in such patients in order to improve the walking ability.

This product is available in extended release tablet form with your doctor’s prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

If you are about to start a drug therapy, the risk-benefit ratio of taking the drug should be considered carefully. This is a decision that your doctor will make with your active participation.

There are some important factors such as drug interactions, metabolic impairment, hypersensitivity reaction, pregnancy, lactation etc. which may alter the desired therapeutic effects of such medications.

Sometimes presence of other health disorders affects the beneficial effects of this medicine and even may cause serious complications.

Make sure you mention your doctor if you have any other medical problems like hepatic or renal disorders, diabetes mellitus, thyroid diseases etc.

The use of dalfampridine is contraindicated in patients with history of seizures. In addition, this drug should be used with great caution in patients with moderate to severe renal dysfunctions.

Certain drugs should not be used simultaneously when you are taking such medications.

It is always recommended to consult with your doctor if you are in need of some other medicines for another health disorder so that you can avoid unwanted serious effects.

Further, dalfampridine should not be taken along with other aminopyridine medications (e.g. fampridine) because they may enhance the risk of serious toxic effects when used together.

Animal reproduction studies performed with dalfampridine have shown an adverse effect to the fetus but there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant as well as lactating women. This medicine can be used during pregnancy and lactation if clearly needed as it is a drug of pregnancy category C. On the contrary, the safety and efficacy of such medications in extreme aged patients have not been established yet.

3 Proper Usage

Medicines should be used following the directions given by your doctor.

The frequency of your daily drug administration and the duration of drug therapy depend on the particular medical problem for which you are taking the medicine. That’s why; the therapeutic dose may vary with patient’s condition or requirement.

In order to combat walking impairment, adults are usually treated with 10 mg tablet (extended release) of dalfampridine that should be taken twice in a day at 12 hours interval. The dose may be increased if needed but not exceeding 20 mg in 24 hours. In case of children, the therapeutic dose is usually determined cautiously by the healthcare professionals or pediatricians.

You should not stop receiving this medicine until the prescribed course is finished; even you begin to feel much better. If you miss any dose of this medicine, you should take it as soon as possible. But if it is time for your next dose, then you should skip the missed dose and go back to your regular treatment schedule.

You should store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light. All kinds of medicines should be kept out of the reach of children. Further, outdated medicines should be disposed by an appropriate way.

4 Precautions to Take

Regular visits are always recommended while you are receiving this drug therapy. It will help your doctor to assess your progress and to make sure that this drug is working properly. It is reported that seizure may occur in patients undergoing dalfampridine therapy. That’s why; you and your close relatives are advised to remain alert. If any occurrence of seizure or convulsion takes place, you should stop taking this medicine immediately and contact with your physician without any delay.

The drug is also responsible for certain allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, hives, angioedema, loss of consciousness etc. which may warrant emergency medical care.

Moreover, urinary tract infections associated with

  • painful passage of urine,
  • bladder pain,
  • urgency and frequency of micturition,
  • lower back or side pain

are reported in some individuals. You should know that, these unwanted medical conditions may appear in patients while receiving such drug therapy which warrant immediate medical attention.

5 Potential Side Effects

There are some unwanted side effects associated with each drug that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects usually go away during the treatment episode as your body adjusts to the medicine.

Your healthcare professional may advise you about the ways how to prevent or reduce those unwanted adverse effects.

Sometimes you may need to consult with the doctor if you feel any of the following serious toxic effects:

More common side effects are:

Some other side effects may also occur but rarely:

6 Related Clinical Trials