Dalfampridine extended release tablets: 1 year of postmarketing safety experience in the US
Michele Jara,1 Graham Barker,2 Herbert R Henney 3rd1
1Acorda Therapeutics, Inc, Ardsley, NY, USA; 2Biogen Idec, Inc, Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK
Background: Dalfampridine extended release tablets (dalfampridine-ER; prolonged-, modified, or sustained-release fampridine in some countries) were approved in the US to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis, as demonstrated by improvement in walking speed. Postmarketing safety experience is available from exposure of approximately 46,000 patients in the US from product approval through March 2011.
Objective: To provide a descriptive analysis of all spontaneously reported postmarketing adverse events (AEs) for dalfampridine-ER since product launch.
Methods: AE data were extracted from the safety database from product launch through March 31, 2011; AEs were classified using the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities. Seizure cases were reviewed for patient demographics, time to event from treatment onset, and presence of additional risk factors.
Results: The most frequently reported postmarketing AEs were similar to those reported during clinical development: dizziness, insomnia, balance disorder, headache, nausea, urinary tract infection, asthenia, and back pain (all included in US product labeling). New clinically significant findings are related to lack of efficacy and inappropriate dosing. Of the approximately 46,000 patients exposed, 85 seizures were reported (~5.4/1000 patient-years), of which 82 were reported or confirmed by a health care practitioner (~5.2/1000 patient-years). Beyond the intrinsic multiple sclerosis-related seizure risk, more than half of the 85 cases (62%) had an additional potential risk factor for seizure including a previous history of convulsions, renal impairment, incorrect dosing, or use of concurrent medications with a labeled seizure risk. Duration of treatment prior to the seizure ranged from one dose to 365 days; 26/85 (31%) patients suffered a seizure within a week of starting treatment.
Conclusion: Spontaneous safety data from the US postmarketing experience were consistent with the safety profile seen during clinical development. Although first-year seizure incidence was not substantially different from that observed in dalfampridine-ER clinical trials, patients should be monitored for concomitant use of drugs that lower seizure threshold.
Keywords: dalfampridine, fampridine, multiple sclerosis, adverse events, postmarketing safety, seizure
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