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Safety profile of dalfampridine extended release in multiple sclerosis: 5-year postmarketing experience in the United States

Authors Jara M, Aquilina T, Aupperle P, Rabinowicz A

Received 25 September 2015

Accepted for publication 3 November 2015

Published 15 December 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 169—174

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DHPS.S97113

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Song Gao

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Chul Ahn


Michele Jara, Thomas Aquilina, Peter Aupperle, Adrian L Rabinowicz

Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., Ardsley, NY, USA

Background: Dalfampridine extended release tablets (dalfampridine-ER; prolonged-, modified, or sustained-release fampridine outside the US), 10 mg twice daily, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2010 to improve walking in people with multiple sclerosis, as determined by an increase in walking speed.
Objective: To provide a descriptive analysis of reported adverse events (AEs) for commercially available dalfampridine-ER from March 2010 through March 31, 2015.
Methods: Five-year postmarketing data for dalfampridine-ER were available from the exposure of approximately 107,000 patients in the US (103,700 patient-years). Commonly reported AEs (≥2% of all reported AEs) and serious AEs were determined. The incidence of reported seizures was determined and the events were further investigated.
Results: Among the 107,000 patients exposed to dalfampridine-ER (70% female; mean age 52.1), the most common AEs were dizziness (3.7%), insomnia (3.2%), balance disorder (3%), fall (2.4%), headache (2.4%), nausea (2.1%), and urinary tract infection (2%). Other common AEs were drug ineffectiveness (5.8%), gait disturbance (4.6%), and inappropriate dosing (3.1%). Serious AEs included rare anaphylactic reactions (five cases) and drug hypersensitivity reactions (eight cases). A total of 657 seizure cases were reported (6.3/1,000 patient-years); of these, 324 were medically confirmed (3.1/1,000 patient-years). Incidence of reported seizures was stable over time. Duration of treatment prior to a seizure ranged from a single dose to >4 years; 12% of the seizures occurred within a week of starting treatment.
Conclusion: The 5-year US postmarketing safety data of dalfampridine-ER is consistent with the safety profile observed in clinical trials. Incidence of reported seizures remained stable over time. Since commercial availability in March 2010, a warning regarding the risk of anaphylaxis and severe allergic reactions was added to the US prescribing information.

Keywords: dalfampridine, fampridine, multiple sclerosis, adverse events, postmarketing safety

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