Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Fingolimod Miracle

New treatments for multiple sclerosis (otherwise known as new hopes) seem to be emerging from the forest of research like deer and badgers before a wind driven late summer blaze.

We read now (in Multiple Sclerosis Central) of Fingolimod offering the greatest hope (don't they all?), in that it reduces the risk of relapse by 50 percent--a mind boggling 20% gain over Copaxone and the interferons.

The miracles just keep marching on.

Is there a catch? Well sure, but nothing in life is 100% safe, right? Would you rather do nothing at all? How stupid are you willing to be?

Well okay, here's the thing, if you must know. First off, the product causes lymphopenia. What's that? Decreased lymphocytes. What's a lymphocyte? Well, who cares. Who needs 'em, right? They can probably be replaced by the consumption of broccoli or something.

Oh, also fingolimod causes bradycardia, at least with the first dose. Not might, but does. So spend the night in the hospital. Big deal.

Thirdly, the product can affect the electrical impulses within the heart. This is a chronic condition known as Wenchebach's atrioventricular block syndrome.

Hmm. That actually sounds kind of serious.

Still and all, it reduces the chance of MS relapse by 50%, making it the best available treatment for MS. Ain't nothing in life that comes without risk.

One more thing though. Patients using Fingolimod are more likely to experience serious opportunistic infections. And, uh . . . Fingolimod may predispose the user to various malignancies.

Malignancies? Gosh I hate that word. The M word.

But hold on a sec. MS itself does not cause malignancies of any type, and so . . . um . . . why again should I hop on the Fingolimod wagon?

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