I tried it back in January and had to stop it because of overwhelming vertigo - I think there were a bunch of factors at play there, from recovery from a trip to Cuba to the flu, to a urinary tract infection (one of the known side effects of Fampyra, and unusual for me). Now that I've recovered from those things, I thought I'd give it another go.
It's not inexpensive. A monthly dose costs upwards of $600. My drug insurance doesn't cover it, though I can write it off on my taxes, I suppose. So it's gotta be good for me to continue it.
When I tried it last time, my walking dramatically improved. I could walk much further and faster and for a longer time - a significant change in all three parameters. But is it worth the money?
While the drug, a potassium channel blocker, is approved to help with walking, I am wondering if it will also have an effect on other functions affected by MS.
Here's what the MS Society of Canada has to say about the drug:
Biogen Idec Canada announced that FAMPYRA (fampridine sustained release tablets or fampridine SR) is now available for prescription in Canada. Health Canada approved
PrFAMPYRA™ on February 10, 2012 for the symptomatic improvement of walking in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) with walking disability (EDSS 3.5-7). FAMPYRA is the first approved treatment for walking impairment in adults with MS.
Fampridine blocks tiny pores, or potassium channels, on the surface of nerve fibres, which may improve the conduction of nerve signals in along nerve fibres whose insulating myelin coating has been damaged by MS.
Common side effects of fampridine include urinary tract infection, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, headache, nausea, weakness, back pain, problems with balance, MS relapse, burning, tingling or itching of the skin, irritation of the nose and throat, constipation, indigestion, throat pain. The initial prescription should be for no more than 4 weeks, and assessment for improvement in walking should be carried out within that timeframe.
Please contact your physician for more information about treatment with Fampyra and the FAMPYRA In Motion™ program.