Fingolomod (Gilenya)

Fingolimod (also known as Gilenya) is a medicine made by Novartis.  It is approved to treat Multiple Sclerosis.  Fingolimod is a sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor inhibitor.  This causes lymphocytes, aka white blood cells, to have difficulty emerging from parts of the body where they develop (such as the lymph nodes and the spleen).  This medicine has been available in the U.S., Canada and the EU since 2010-2011.

Fingolimod is provided as a tablet.  It is provided as 0.5 milligrams and it is to be taken once daily.

The possible side effects of Fingolimod include head cold symptoms, headache, fatigue, bradycardia (slow heart rate), changes in liver function, blurred vision (sometimes due to macular edema) and others.  Many physicians monitor blood pressure, pulse or heart rhythm after the first dose of this medication.

Fingolimod is currently an expensive medication.  The retail price of this medication is about $60000/year in the U.S.

Literature search

  1. Oral fingolimod (FTY720) for relapsing multiple sclerosis.  Kappos, L. et al.  2006.  N Engl J Med Sep 14; 355(11) 1124-40
  2. A placebo-controlled trial of oral fingolimod in relapsing multiple sclerosis Kappos, L. et al. 2010.  N Engl J Med Feb 4; 362(5) 387-401
    Findings: fingolimod 0.5 mg daily reduced disability progression over a 24 month period
  3. Comparitive effectiveness of fingolimod versus interferons or glatiramer acetate for relapse rates in multiple sclerosis: a retrospective US claims database analysis.  Bergvall, N., et al.  2013.  Curr Med Res Opi Dec: 29(12): 1647-56
    Findings: fingolimod associated with reduced probability of having a relapse, compared to interferon and glatiramer treatments