Vumerity (diroximel fumarate)

Vumerity® (diroximel fumarate) is an oral medication indicated for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). It includes adults with clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease.1 Vumerity comes in capsule form. It is distributed by Biogen and Alkermes plc.1,2

How does Vumerity work?

Vumerity is a disease-modifying treatment. The 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 drug similar to Biogen’s Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate). Vumerity is reported to have fewer gastrointestinal side effects than Tecfidera.2The drug did not have to undergo extensive clinical trials to demonstrate benefits for relapsing MS because once 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 (meaning they continue to 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
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain or indigestion

Vumerity can cause rare but serious side effects, including:1-3

  • Allergic reactions including welts and hives
  • PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy - a rare brain infection
  • Shingles
  • Decrease in white blood cell count
  • Severe liver problems

Flushing and stomach problems are common reactions at the start of therapy. They generally decrease over time.2 Flushing can be reduced by taking it with a low-fat/low-calorie meal or snack and/or administering non-enteric coated aspirin (up to a dose of 325 mg) 30 minutes prior to dosing of Vumerity.

This is not an exhaustive list of all potential side effects of Vumerity. For more information or you notice any new or worsening side effects consult your healthcare provider.1-3

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. 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.

Complete blood counts and liver function tests should be done before initiating therapy with Vumerity. Monitoring should be continued every 6-12 months during treatment.1-3

Read the prescribing information for more information.

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Written by Linda Saxl Minton | Last review date: August 2021.