Want To Walk Faster?

Dec 1 2008

Fampridine (4-aminopyridine) is a compound that blocks potassium channels which allows nerves to transmit impulses better.  Two phase III trials of oral Fampridine SR 10 mg twice a day showed benefits in some people with MS on their ability to walk 25 feet. 

In the first study, 72 patients were treated with placebo and 228 patients were treated with Fampridine over 14 weeks.  Of the 35% of patients who responded to Fampridine, the average change in walking speed increased 25%.

In the second study, 119 patients were treated with placebo and 120 patients were treated with Fampridine over 8 weeks.  43% of treated patients responded.   Fampridine work in all MS types including relapsing remitting, secondary progressive and primary progressive disease.

The side effects of Fampridine include dizziness, trouble sleeping and fatigue.  Although these two trials did not report any seizures, seizures have been reported on 4-aminopyridine on generally higher doses.  One seizure can legally prevent you from driving for 6 months in some states.  Although Fampridine is not yet FDA approved, 4-aminopyridine capsules can be made at some compounding pharmacies.

Goodman AD. AAN 5/1/07; ECTRIMS 9/20/08 P909.

BY: Barry Singer, MD DATE: December 1, 2008 TOPIC: MS Research News