Brand Name: Ampyra
Generic Name: dalfampridine Extended Release Tablets
Medication Class: Potassium Channel Blocker
Similar Drugs: None
Manufactured by: Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.
Approval Date: January 22, 2010
What is Ampyra?
Ampyra is a potassium channel blocker used for treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The mechanism of action is unknown. It is blocks movement of potassium from degenerated myelin sheath (the protective coating around nerve fibers) and increase nerve signal conduction from the brain to other parts of the body. Ampyra has been shown to increase conduction of nerve signals in animals. Ampyra is the only medication indicated to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis. This was demonstrated in an increase in walking speed. Patients with MS have difficulty walking because there are areas of demyelination (neuron damage) that affect walking ability.
What is Ampyra used for?
Ampyra is used for improving walking in patients with multiple sclerosis. This is demonstrated by an increase in walking speed. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, disabling, disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). There are about 400,000 people in the United States and 2.5 million people worldwide with multiple sclerosis.
What is the dosage of Ampyra
The recommended dose of Ampyra is 10 mg orally twice daily with or without food about 12 hours apart. Tablets should be taken whole and should not be divided, crushed, chewed, or dissolved.
How well does Ampyra work?
Ampyra was shown to increase walking speed in patients with MS. There were two clinical trials used to support the effectiveness of Ampyra in improving walking. In the first trial, a double-blind randomized control study of 283 patients showed an overall increase in walking speed after 21 weeks of 34.8% in the Ampyra group versus 8.3% in the placebo group. The second trial, also a double-blind randomized control study, enrolled 239 patients and showed an increase in walking speed after 14-weeks of 42.9% in the Ampyra group versus 9.3% in the placebo group. A significantly greater proportion of patients taking Ampyra had increases in walking speed of at least 10%, 20% or 30% from baseline compared to placebo when tested.