Compounded 4-Aminopyridine vs Fampyra: What sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis need to know.

The benefits of 4-Aminopyridine have been long known in Australia’s Multiple Sclerosis community. The treatment has been shown to greatly improve walking and other motor skills and thereby enhance the patient’s quality of life.

The drug is essentially a channel-blocker that prevents potassium from leaving nerve cells damaged by MS. Clinical trials have shown a 25% increase in walking speed in roughly 40% of participants. It works and we know it.

However due to the variability of MS symptoms and the different ways the condition manifests in different patients, 4-Aminopyridine has, in the past, always been prepared by a compounding pharmacist who can customise the formula to suit the specific and unique requirements of each individual.

However this changed in 2016 when Fampyra, a new mass-produced drug from overseas, was approved for sale on the Australian market. Fampyra is essentially the same as 4-Aminopyridine, but produced in a standard one-size-fits-all dose. This makes regulation and quality control of the drug much easier, however it may not always work in the best interest of the patient.

The problem with one-size-fits-all doses for Multiple Sclerosis

We know that too much 4-Aminopyridine can cause seizures in some patients, and too little, of course, is not going to produce results. Medical practitioners experienced in the field of Multiple Sclerosis know that each patient will respond differently to 4-Aminopyridine – a percentage do not respond at all – and that finding the ideal dose and dosage frequency for each individual requires some work. Having total control of the strength and frequency of dose makes this work that much easier.

4-Aminopyridine is also best administered under a stepped dosage protocol to allow the body to become accustomed to the medication. Some patients may require immediate release capsules while others require timed-release. These needs can be accommodated in medicines made from scratch by a compounding pharmacist but are much more difficult when working with a standard dose tablet.

Do I need a prescription for 4-Aminopyridine?

National Custom Compounding regularly makes up orders of 4-Aminopyridine for Multiple Sclerosis sufferers around the country. However just like all pharmacies around Australia, we can only supply medication on presentation of a script from a GP or other suitably qualified medical practitioner. Talk to your health care provider about your interest in 4-Aminopyridine. Alternatively we regularly work with integrative doctors around the country who understand the services offered by compounding pharmacies. Our list of integrative doctors is also available on our website.

We’re based in Queensland however we have systems in place that allow us to deliver anywhere in Australia. We also have a large network of Partner Pharmacies across the country who can arrange to have your script filled by us on your behalf. Check the online list to see if there’s a partner pharmacy near you.

 

References

4-Aminopyridine for symptomatic treatment of multiple sclerosis: a systematic review

Henrik Boye Jensen, Mads Ravnborg, Ulrik Dalgas, Egon Stenager

Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2014 Mar; 7(2): 97–113. doi: 10.1177/1756285613512712