What Is AMPYRA?
Walking better matters
AMPYRA® (dalfampridine), an oral medication, is the only treatment shown to improve walking in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Not everyone responds to AMPYRA. Individual results may vary.
In a poll of more than 2000 people with MS, walking was named as one of the most challenging aspects of MS — 87% of people with MS said they had some limitations in their walking ability and limited activities that involved walking.*
The good news is AMPYRA may help with walking — it can be taken by people with any of the major types of MS. You can take AMPYRA alone or with other MS medications, including your disease-modifying therapy.
AMPYRA is not a disease-modifying treatment for MS. It is not an infusion or injection. It’s a tablet, taken twice a day about 12 hours apart.
You should not take AMPYRA if you have ever had a seizure or if you have certain types of kidney problems, or are allergic to dalfampridine (4-aminopyridine), the active ingredient in AMPYRA.
Remember, there may be many ways to address your walking issues. The first step is to talk to your healthcare provider early, when you first notice changes — start by asking them about AMPYRA.
Watch a one-on-one interview with a leading MS specialist as he shares some common misconceptions about MS-related walking problems.
AMPYRA is indicated as a treatment to improve walking in patients with MS. AMPYRA improved walking in significantly more people with MS than placebo (sugar pill) in two clinical trials (34.8% vs. 8.3% and 42.9% vs. 9.3%). This was demonstrated by an increase in walking speed.
Not everyone responds to AMPYRA. Individual results may vary.
Are there misconceptions about MS-related walking problems?Dr. Thrower:
There are two types of misconceptions we see about walking problems in multiple sclerosis. Uh.. at one end of the spectrum if you'd talk to someone who's newly diagnosed and really hasn't learned a lot about MS yet, sometimes they think, "Well, gosh, I'm diagnosed with MS now, I'm going to be in a wheelchair next year."
And MS is more slowly progressive than that for the- for the majority of people, fortunately. On the other hand, there is the misperception that if the person is not using a cane or a walker or a wheelchair, that their walking must be fine. And that clearly is not true either. Uh.. the person can definitely have trouble with walking even if they're not using one of those- those uh.. types of uh.. pieces of equipment.
How does MS affect walking?
In MS, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the protective coating around nerve fibers, called myelin. As MS progresses, there may be more areas of demyelination. When myelin is lost or damaged, potassium channels on the nerves open, and potassium leaks out. This can weaken or distort the messages being sent from the brain to the rest of the body. In some people, this disrupts signals that control walking ability and can lead to walking difficulties or problems.
AMPYRA works differently
AMPYRA enhances signal conduction in the nerves when myelin has been lost or damaged.
How AMPYRA works is not completely understood. However, in animal studies, AMPYRA has been shown to enhance message conduction in damaged nerve fibers by blocking potassium leaks.
Walking — how effective is AMPYRA?
AMPYRA improved walking in significantly more people with MS than placebo (sugar pill) in two clinical trials (34.8% vs. 8.3% and 42.9% vs. 9.3%). This was demonstrated by an increase in walking speed. Not everyone responds to AMPYRA. Individual results may vary.
Walking — a meaningful difference
In the clinical studies, people who walked faster, regardless of treatment, also reported improvements in their walking-related activities.† This was shown using the 12-Item Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale (or MSWS-12).
- Maintaining balance
- Ability to run
- Climbing stairs
- Need for support
- Walking distances
- Moving around the home
- Effort needed to walk
- Concentration needed to walk
- Ability to walk
- Walking speed
As you learn to manage living with your MS, ask yourself if MS has affected your walking ability. If so, talk to your doctor. Ask if AMPYRA may be right for you.
*A Patient Survey of Mobility and Exercise Issues Among MS Patients [poll]. Poll commissioned by Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. February 21, 2008.
†A drug/placebo difference was not established for this outcome measure.