Background According to the Portuguese Society of multiple sclerosis (MS), nearly 60% of patients suffering from this pathology, 20 years after being diagnosed, need help for their daily activities. Walking difficulties are one of the main complaints, conditioning not only their basic activities but also professional performance, with impact on socioeconomic status. Fampridine has been approved for the improvement of walking capacity (WC) in adult MS patients with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 4–7.
Purpose To evaluate the effectiveness of fampridine in WC of MS patients.
Materials and methods Retrospective study by reviewing patient’s clinical records from the Neurology department and pharmacist’s reports to the National Medicines Agency. Parameters measured: timed 25-foot walk test (T25FW), 12-item MS walking scale (MSWS-12) questionnaire at baseline and 15 days after the first dose.
Results Of the 10 patients taking fampridine (10 mg twice daily), 2 were excluded because they switched from amifampridine. Three out of the 8 patients tested were non-responders and treatment was suspended. The responders’ ages ranged between 36 and 58 years, not different from non-responders. The average WC improvement was 40% and changed their perception of movement limitation from ‘marked’ to ‘moderate’ in MSWS-12.
A special monitoring program, involving neurologists and a clinical pharmacist, has been started to assure effectiveness and use of fampridine within the specific EDSS range and will continue in our hospital.
Published studies revealed that fampridine is effective in improving WC of MS patients. We are interested in finding out if it has some effect on cognitive improvement as well.
Conclusions Fampridine has been shown in clinical trials to improve walking speed in approximately one third of MS patients with ambulatory impairment. In our hospital, we’ve seen an improvement of nearly 40% in WA in 65% of patients taking fampridine. The T25FW and MSWS-12 improvement presented by our patients makes a significant difference in their daily activities, fampridine providing hope for MS patients.
No conflict of interest.
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