A New Drug On The Market Could Help Kids with MS

the use of fingolimod in children, Chitnis said.

That makes fingolimod “the first drug approved in the U.S. for pediatric MS,” Chitnis said.

Other drugs like interferon beta-1a are used in children, but their use is considered “off-label,” said Bruce Bebo, executive vice president of research for the National MS Society.

“We consider this a major development, a major milestone in the MS treatment landscape,” Bebo said of fingolimod’s approval for use in children.

Multiple sclerosis occurs when the immune system turns on the nervous system and attacks the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers, disrupting communication between the brain and the rest of the body.

MS causes vision problems, numbness or tingling, tremors, slurred speech and fatigue in patients. If left unchecked, it eventually will make it difficult for the person to walk.

Fingolimod is believed to treat MS by suppressing blood levels of lymphocytes, white blood cells that promote