Vumerity (diroximel fumarate)
Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: April 2023 | Last updated: May 2023
Vumerity® (diroximel fumarate) is an oral medicine approved to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). It can be prescribed for adults with clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease. Vumerity comes in capsule form.1,2
How does Vumerity work?
Vumerity is a disease-modifying treatment. Its exact mechanism of action is not known. It is thought to alter the body’s immune response, causing a reduction in inflammation. It may have antioxidant properties that could protect against damage to the brain and spinal cord.2
Vumerity is a drug similar to Biogen’s Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate), but it is reported to have fewer gastrointestinal side effects than Tecfidera. Vumerity did not have to undergo extensive clinical trials to demonstrate benefits for relapsing MS because once it is processed in the body, Vumerity converts to the same active ingredient as Tecfidera.2
Many clinical trials evaluated the safety and efficacy of Tecfidera. Vumerity offers another treatment option for people with secondary progressive MS who continue to have active disease (experience relapses).2
What are some of the possible side effects of Vumerity?
The most common side effects of Vumerity include:1-3
- Flushing (developing red or hot skin)
- Redness, itching, or rash
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain or indigestion
Vumerity can also cause rare but serious side effects, including:1-3
- Allergic reactions including welts and hives
- PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy – a rare brain infection
- Decrease in white blood cell count
- Severe liver problems
These are not all the possible side effects of Vumerity. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Vumerity. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Vumerity.
Other things to know about Vumerity
Before starting Vumerity, you should talk to your doctor about all drugs (prescription and over the counter), supplements, and vitamins you are taking. Some drugs or supplements may interfere with each other. This means both drugs may work less well, or you may have serious side effects. While taking Vumerity your doctor may adjust the doses of some of the other drugs you take.1-3
Tell your doctor if you:1-3
- Have a hypersensitivity to diroximel fumarate
- Take dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera)
- Have liver problems
- Have kidney problems
- Have low white blood cell counts or an infection
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, as there is limited information on the use of Vumerity in pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Your doctor will take complete blood counts and liver function tests before you begin therapy with Vumerity. They will then continue to monitor you every 6 to 12 months during treatment.1-3
Before beginning treatment for MS, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.
For more information, read the prescribing information of Vumerity.