FDA approved Gilenya, Novartis oral drug for Multiple Sclerosis


Some disorders remain with you for life long. There are circumstances when you know that your body will slowly succumb to these brutal diseases and yet you have to bravely live your life and fight against these life-threatening conditions every single day. Multiple sclerosis is one such disorder. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is presently believed to be an auto-immune disorder mediated by a complex interaction of the individual’s genetics and certain unidentified environmental factors. Currently about 2.5 million people in the world are suffering with MS and around 400000 patients are in the USA. FDA has now approved a drug called Gilenya or fingolimod as a new and the first oral drug to be used for the treatment of MS.


More about Multiple Sclerosis
In MS patient’s own immune system is the reason of damage.  Exact causes of onset of MS are still unknown, however:

  • MS affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other
  • Its primary symptoms include difficulty in walking, vision problems and/or pain

There are four sub-types of MS

  • Relapsing remitting,
  • Secondary progressive,
  • Primary progressive, and
  • Progressive relapsing.

Out of these relapsing remitting is the most common subtype of MS. Novartis has now introduced a drug called Gilenya for treating relapsing remitting subtype of multiple sclerosis.

More about Gilenya

  • It is the first oral-drug approved by FDA for treating relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
  • Gilenya has successfully shown to cut the relapse rate by 62%

Currently all available medications are delivered by injection and infusion. But Gilenya is an oral capsule and is a big relief from the pain of having to stick in needle to your body on frequent basis. Gilenya can slow the progression of disabilities and reduce frequency and severity of the...

symptoms. One of the merits of Gilenya is that it is not an immunosuppressant and functions by manipulating the immune system to benefit the patients

However, like any other medication/drug Gilenya could have side-effects. These include possibilities of increased blood pressure, reduced lung function, eye toxicity, decreased heart function, and an increased risk of infections. Novartis, the manufacturer of Gilenya is going to set up a program to monitor and educate patients taking this drug.

I personally know of a friend who is suffering with MS. Currently, he like several others is taking medication by injecting himself every other day. Though there is no full-proof cure for MS, an effective oral-drug like Gilenya could help thousands of patients from having to painfully inject themselves. But one thing that I have learnt from my friend is that it’s not only just the medication, but it also is the will-power and the positive spirit to embrace life that determines the success of our livelihood. With the high spirit and with the positive outlook toward life we can certainly push back our collapsing time. Some disorders are still seemingly insurmountable, but right attitude could help us making our lives wonderful with whatever little we have in our hands! Realm of science is miraculous, but more miraculous is the fact that healthy attitude gives birth to Healthy Living!

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Source: CNN

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