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Treatment for Relapsing MS -- FDA approves new multiple sclerosis treatment: Tecfidera

Posted on Mar 28, 2013

One of the most common causes of neurological disability among women, MS is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that disrupts communication between the brain and other parts of the body. A relapse is characterized by periods of deteriorating functioning after remission or recovery periods.As of now, no drug treatment cures MS.  And over a period of time, recovery periods may become less complete which is why MS leads to progressive decline in function and increased disability. This newly approved drug holds promise for improved quality of life over time.

Results from two clinical trials showed that those taking Tecfidera had fewer MS relapses compared to people taking a placebo. One of the trials showed that those taking Tecfidera experienced a worsening of disability less often than patients taking a placebo. However,Tecfidera may decrease a person’s white blood cell count (lymphocytes). Lymphocytes help protect the body from infection and low counts can raise the risk of infection, although no significant increase in infections was seen in patients taking Tecfidera in clinical trials. Before starting treatment, and annually thereafter, the FDA recommends that the patient’s white blood cell count be assessed by their health care provider.

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