Text Size: a  |   a 

Ampyra is a Long-Term Solution for MS Patients with Gait Disturbance

February 13, 2017

Long-term treatment with prolonged-release Ampyra offered persistent clinical and subjective benefits in walking function in gait-impaired patients with MS, researchers reported.

In an extension study of the FAMPKIN trial, MS patients had an 11.5% improvement in walking speed, a 10.7% improvement in endurance, and a 6.1-point improvement in self-perceived ambulatory function over baseline during the first open-label year of treatment, according to Linard Filli, PhD, of University Hospital Zurich, and colleagues.

Those effects remained stable during a follow-up year of double-blind controlled treatment. Overall, patients had significant improvement in the Timed 25-Foot Walk, the 6-Minute Walk Test, and the 12-item MS Walking Scale over those two years, they added.

"Interestingly, patients with poor initial response to PR fampridine were likely to improve their drug responsiveness after long-term treatment," Filli told MedPage Today in an email. "Over one-third of these patients improved by more than 10% in either maximal gait speed or walking endurance."

Responders were defined as people whose T25FW walking speed in at least 3 of the 4 visits during the double-blind treatment period exceeded their maximum speed during any of the 5 previous visits off drug.

These results underscore the importance of regular reassessments of drug efficacy, particularly in patients with poor initial drug responses, Filli said.

Indeed, seeing a long-term benefit "in participants who would have been identified as non-responders in the core study is the most clinically meaningful aspect of this study ... and should have been discussed in greater detail, as it could influence providers' recommendations as to how the medication is initially prescribed," said Susan Bennett, DPT, EdD, of the University of Buffalo in New York.