Ampyra (dalfampridine)

Ampyra (dalfampridine) is a potassium channel blocker indicated as a symptomatic treatment to improve walking in adult patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Difficulty with walking is one of the most reported challenges of having MS. Ampyra is a potassium channel blocker. Each tablet contains 10 mg dalfampridine, formulated as an extended-release tablet to be taken twice daily by mouth.

Improvement through the use of Ampyra is measured by an increased rate of walking speed. No differences in effectiveness were noted based on degree of impairment, age, gender, or body mass index.

What are the ingredients in Ampyra?

The active ingredient in Ampyra is 10 mg of dalfampridine.

How does Ampyra work?

Ampyra works by blocking tiny pores (called potassium channels) on the surface of nerve fibers. Blocking potassium channels may improve the ability of nerve fibers that are damaged by demyelination due to MS, to conduct electrical impulses or nerve signals.

What are the possible side effects of Ampyra?

Many clinical trials evaluated the safety and efficacy of Amyra. The most common side effects experienced by those taking Amyra include:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Asthenia (weakness or lack of energy)
  • Back pain
  • Balance disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis relapse
  • Paresthesia (numbness or tingling)
  • Cold or cold-like symptoms (Nasopharyngitis)
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion (Dyspepsia)
  • Throat pain (Pharyngolaryngeal pain)

Things to know about Ampyra

The kidneys substantially excrete Ampyra and the risk of adverse reactions, including seizures, is greater with increasing exposure of dalfampridine. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, it is particularly important to monitor the creatinine clearance (CrCl) level in patients.

Before starting Ampyra, talk with your doctor if you have:

  • A history of seizures
  • Certain kidney conditions
  • A history of hypersensitivity or allergic reaction to Ampyra or 4-aminopyridine

This is not an exhaustive list of all potential side effects of Ampyra. For more information, consult your doctor or healthcare provider. If you notice any new or worsening side effects when taking Ampyra, contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.

Dosing information

Ampyra is available in a 10 mg strength extended release tablet.The maximum recommended dosage of Ampyra is one 10 mg tablet twice a day, taken approximately 12 hours apart. There is no evidence of additional benefit at doses greater than 10 mg twice daily, and more should not be taken.

Ampyra can be taken with or without food. Tablets should be swallowed whole; they should not be divided, crushed, chewed, or dissolved. If a dose is missed, patients should not take double or extra doses. Ampyra should be taken as instructed; it is formulated to be released over an extended period of time. Breaking the tablet can cause the medicine can be released too quickly, which may increase the risk of certain side effects, such as seizures.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Ampyra.

Written by Linda Saxl Minton | Last review date: April 2018.
View References