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Monday, June 2, 2014
Gastro Effects Dog Oral MS Drug Tecfidera
Published: May 30, 2014
DALLAS -- Large proportions of patients starting on dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera) for multiple sclerosis appear to need additional medications to manage the drug's gastrointestinal and other adverse effects, and a substantial minority are ultimately unable to tolerate the drug, multiple studies reported here found.
These findings were confirmed in the manufacturer's own studies -- for example, more than half of patients in an open-label study took over-the-counter medications to control stomach upset and diarrhea -- although symptoms eventually abated in those who stayed on the drug beyond 2 months.
On the other hand, one-quarter of patients switching to dimethyl fumarate from another MS medication in an independent study had stopped the drug within 3 months.
These and other reports on dimethyl fumarate's safety were presented during a poster session at the joint meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers and the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (CMSC-ACTRIMS).