POTASSIUM CHANNEL BLOCKER
Ampyra is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to improve walking speed in adults with all types of multiple sclerosis (MS). It is the first drug that has been approved for this purpose. The drug name of Ampyra is Dalfampridine. Ampyra is not a cure for MS, but it can help reduce symptoms related to walking.
Ampyra may not be appropriate for people with kidney problems or a history of seizures. It is unknown whether Ampyra is safe to take during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Ampyra is a potassium channel blocker. Ampyra is believed to work by increasing the conductivity of nerves. In other words, it improves communication routes between your brain and your body that are damaged by demyelination in MS.
How do I take it?
Ampyra comes in extended-release tablets. The maximum dosage of Ampyra is one 10 mg tablet twice daily, 12 hours apart. The tablets should be swallowed whole, not crushed or dissolved. They may be taken with or without food.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Ampyra.
The FDA approved Dalfampridine (Ampyra) in 2010 based on two clinical studies. In both trials, effectiveness was measured in terms of walking speed. In the first study, 301 people with MS were either given Dalfampridine or a placebo for 21 weeks. At the end of the trial, 34.8 percent of those taking Dalfampridine had shown significant increase in walking speed versus 8.3 percent of those taking the placebo.
In the second trial, 239 people with MS either received Dalfampridine or a placebo for 14 weeks. At the end of the trial, 42.9 percent of those taking Dalfampridine had shown significant increase in walking speed versus 9.3 percent of those taking the placebo.
Ampyra can cause seizures in anyone. There is increased likelihood of seizures if you are taking higher doses of Ampyra; if you crush or break the tablet; if you take doses too close together; if you have had a seizure before; or if you have kidney problems. Discontinue taking Ampyra and notify your doctor if you experience a seizure.
Other possible side effects of Ampyra include bladder or kidney infections, insomnia, dizziness, headache and weakness.
Ampyra can also cause allergic reactions. Get medical help immediately if you experience difficulty breathing or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips or tongue.