Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence
Dalfampridine (Ampyra®) is the first oral agent approved by the FDA for the treatment of MS symptoms. Dalfampridine is not a disease modifying therapy (DMT) for MS but targets functional motor impairment. It has the potential to improve walking ability and strengthen the lower leg in people with MS. This may provide patients with the ability to stay independent for longer periods of time and improve quality of life.
Dalfampridine is broadly classified as a potassium-channel blocker. When the myelin sheath is damaged, potassium may become too active, causing a decrease in nerve function. Dalfampridine blocks potassium from entering the channel, thereby decreasing the disruptions in conduction along the nerves that are associated with functional motor impairment. Dalfampridine is associated with serious adverse events. It appears to have dose related adverse events, perhaps the most serious is an increase in MS relapse and of seizures. Individuals who have questions about dalfampridine should contact their healthcare provider.