COMMENTARY | The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to not only doctors, but to multiple sclerosis patients as well in regards to the drug Gilenya. The FDA has stated that multiple sclerosis patients taking Gilenya who have heart diseases could be adversely affected by the drug. This would include people like me that have had open heart surgery. I have tried several multiple sclerosis drugs in the past, but have never and never will try Gilenya.
As reported by U.S. News, the FDA released this warning after a multiple sclerosis patients died within 24 hours of taking their first dose of this killer drug. This has prompted the medical community to rethink prescribing this drug to multiple sclerosis patients that have preexisting heart conditions. This is why it is always best to be upfront with your multiple sclerosis teams of doctors, and in particularly your neurologist.
Each patient has a duty to help their doctors prescribe only the most effective drug for their form of multiple sclerosis. Every patient diagnosed with multiple sclerosis should keep their doctors up to date on any heart conditions that they may have as well so that Gilenya is not prescribed to them, as this drug is being investigated for having potentially deadly consequences for patients with multiple sclerosis, who also have preexisting heart conditions.
As reported by U.S. News, the FDA is also saying that patients who already take Gilenya should not stop taking the drug without first consulting with their doctors. This is the same warning that comes with most every other drug to help cure, or slow the progression of other diseases as well. Gilenya may be right for those that have multiple sclerosis and a strong heart, though.
In any case, the FDA recommends that every patient taking Gilenya be put under observation by medical staff before, and after taking the drug. This means that Gilenya will have to be administered at a hospital, which may have to go through a program similar to the program that Tysabri has in place. Every patient on Tysabri has to be observed while taking the medication, and after receiving their monthly dose of Tysabri.
Gilenya patients may have to take blood test every three months as well to ensure that the drug is not having an adverse affect on them. There may be a need to have a heart test ran frequently as well to ensure that the patient’s heart is not becoming weak due to Gilenya as well. For patients thinking about taking this drug or that has been prescribed the drug Gilenya need to weigh the pros and cons of the drug.