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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lemtrada: New Multiple Sclerosis drug on the market for Canadian patients

Lemtrada is a new multiple sclerosis drug now on the market for Canadians

By Oona Woods

There is a new drug on the market for Canadians who have the most common form of Multiple Sclerosis. Lemtrada has been approved for use after a University of Ottawa-based team conducted clinical trials over the last four years.

The drug kills white blood cells which stops them from entering the brain and attacking it.
Lemtrada has been given the green light both here and in Europe but not America. It was previously marketed for Leukemia sufferers under the name Campath.

Ottawa MS patient Kelly Lauzon was diagnosed with MS in 2000. For the following decade she had recurring relapses of the disease.

“Prior to being on this drug I was relapsing every 12 months,” she said.
“For me, I was always affected by my vision, I would basically go blind. This means I can’t drive, I was counting steps in my own home.”

Lauzon says she has not had a single relapse since being on Lemtrada. She has also noticed an improvement in her ability to sleep through the night.

“After one month of this trial I woke up literally in tears saying to my boyfriend, ‘is this how normal people sleep?’ It had been so long I forgot,” she said.

Trials of the drug resulted in one death in the past, but doctors say they are administering it intravenously and that avoids double contact with the liver, which caused problems. Side effects can affect the thyroid along with milder ailments like fevers, rashes and nausea.
Dr Mark Freedman is a Neurologist and Professor of Medicine with the University of Ottawa. He says the drug is a highly effective therapy that can be injected once a year and then not maintained.

Before reading more of this article  - Know that the FDA recently declined the use of this medication in the USA. Please read a petition about this and sign so that we can get the FDA to see that Patients want a new choice.
Click here to review this petition


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