What is fingolimod, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Fingolimod is an oral medication used for treating multiple sclerosis (MS). Its mechanism of action is unknown, although it may work by reducing the number of circulating lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell), leading to reduced migration of white blood cells into the central nervous system. White blood cells cause inflammation and destruction of nerves in patients with MS. Fingolimod does not cure MS. It decreases the number of MS flares and slows down the development of physical disability caused by MS. The FDA approved fingolimod in September 2010.
What are the side effects of fingolimod?
The most common side effects are:
Fingolimod may decrease heart rate, especially after the first dose. Patients should be observed for signs and symptoms of low heart rate for 6 hours after the first dose. Fingolimod may increase the risk of infections. Signs and symptoms of infection should be monitored during treatment and for two months after discontinuation of treatment. Fingolimod should not be administered to patients who have an infection. Fingolimod may cause inflammation of the eye (uveitis) and other eye problems. Therefore, visual acuity should be checked prior to starting therapy, 3 to 4 months after initiation of therapy, and during routine patient evaluation. Fingolimod has also been associated with difficulty breathing. Fingolimod reduces the white blood cell count, and this effect may last for 2 months after treatment is discontinued.
- What is fingolimod, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for fingolimod?
- Is fingolimod available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for fingolimod?
- What are the side effects of fingolimod?
- What is the dosage for fingolimod?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with fingolimod?
- Is fingolimod safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about fingolimod?
What is the dosage for fingolimod?
The recommended dose is 0.5 mg orally once daily, with or without food. Doses higher than 0.5 mg cause more adverse reactions without providing additional benefit.
Which drugs or supplements interact with fingolimod?
Vaccines may be less effective during and up to 2 months after discontinuation of fingolimod treatment. Live attenuated vaccines should not be administered during and for 2 months after fingolimod treatment because of the risk of infection.
Is fingolimod safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Fingolimod has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.
It is not known whether fingolimod is secreted in breast milk.
Fingolimod (Gilenya) is a drug prescribed for reducing the frequency of relapses and delaying the physical disability in individuals with relapsing forms of MS (multiple sclerosis). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Related Disease Conditions
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Life Expectancy
Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disorder in which brain and spinal cord nerve cells become demyelinated. This damage...
Muscle spasms are involuntary muscle contractions that come on suddenly and are usually quite painful. Dehydration, doing...
Multiple Sclerosis Early Symptoms and Signs (Early, Body Areas Affected)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms vary from person to person, and can last for days to months without periods of remission....
Is MS Contagious? (Multiple Sclerosis)
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a degenerative disease of the covering around the nerves in the central nervous system (CNS)....
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.