People with MS felt better, walked faster and had better leg strength after using the drug fampridine compared to those on placebo, a small study has shown.
Clinicians gave 301 patients aged 18-70 with all course types of the neurodegenerative disease either 10mg fampridine twice daily or placebo for 14 weeks.
When assessed at two weeks then every four weeks, those on active treatment had a faster walking speed in three of the four assessments compared with the fastest when not on treatment to those just taking sugar pills (78/224 or 35% compared to 6/72 or 8%).
This group also had greater improvement in leg strength and on all 12 items in the multiple sclerosis walking scale.
Two serious adverse events – focal seizure and severe anxiety – were associated with use of fampridine in this study. Other research has shown that risk of seizure increases in a dose-dependent way with fampridine.
Lancet (2009) 373: 732–38
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