Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic illness that impacts the central nervous system (CNS). Meanwhile, the brain and spinal cord constitute CNS. In MS, inflammation damages the myelin protective sheath surrounding the CNS nerves, impairing their ability to function. The symptoms of MS appear due to the slowing or cessation of communication between nerve cells.
What is Gilenya?
Gilenya is a brand name, and its generic name is fingolimod. It is used to treat relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults and pediatric patients by reducing relapses, flare-ups, and the advancement of physical disability due to MS. The dosage of Gilenya (Fingolimod) is a once-daily capsule given to adult and pediatric patients.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Gilenya (Fingolimod) for treating and managing relapse MS in patients 10 years of age and older, such as those with clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting illness, and active secondary progressive disease.
What is the Mechanism of Action of Gilenya?
Gilenya (Fingolimod) limits the capacity of some white blood cells to move freely inside the body and prevents them from entering the brain and spinal cord. That’s why it aids in defense against immune system assaults on the CNS. This reduces MS-related nerve damage. Additionally, Gilenya (Fingolimod) lessens various immune responses in your or your child’s body.
How to take Gilenya?
A medical professional will monitor young and adult patients for at least 6 hours after taking their first dosage of Gilenya When moving from the 0.25 mg dose of Gilenya (Fingolimod) children should also be checked over by a medical practitioner for at least 6 hours after taking their first 0.5 mg dose.
Gilenya (Fingolimod) should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Also, Gilenya (Fingolimod) should be taken once daily. In case of an emergency, you must contact your doctor or get straight to the emergency unit of the closest hospital. Gilenya can be taken with or without food. Never stop taking Gilenya without first consulting your doctor.
What are the Side effects of Gilenya?
You may experience a slow heartbeat or bradycardia by taking an initial dose of Gilenya (Fingolimod). Your heart rate may slow down after taking Gilenya especially after the first dose. An electrocardiogram (ECG) test is normally conducted before taking your first dose of Gilenya to examine the electrical activity of your heart.
Other side effects
- High triglycerides
- High blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Low white blood cell count
- Various skin conditions, including pruritus and eczema
- A fungal infection that leads to patches on the skin, such as Tinea versicolor
- Lack of energy (Asthenia)
Warnings and precautions
Gilenya (Fingolimod) might enhance the risk. CBCs must be done before starting any treatment. Keep an eye on infection during medication delivery and two months after stopping it. Patients with active infections shouldn’t begin treatment.
A fundus examination must be done before initiating the treatment and again after 3-4 months of treatment. The risk can be increased by uveitis and diabetes mellitus.
Assess and monitor the levels of liver enzymes before starting the treatment and during treatment. Patients with severe hepatic impairment must be given more attention. Any evidence of injury to the liver will lead to therapy discontinuation.
Gilenya Copay Assistance
If you’re worried about the cost of Gilenya (Fingolimod) treatment, we can help. We offer a range of financial assistance programs designed to make it easier for patients to access the medication they need. In addition to these Gilenya Copay Assistance programs, we also work with various foundations and non-profit organizations to provide additional financial support to patients. We can help patients identify and apply for these programs, ensuring that they receive the maximum financial assistance available.