In 2019, the United States approved Vumerity (diroximel fumarate) to treat adult patients with relapsing-remitting (R/R) multiple sclerosis (MS). Now, two years later, the European Union has approved this treatment for patients. According to Multiple Sclerosis News Today, the treatment is more gastrointestinally tolerable than prior therapies.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Vumerity is:
a capsule taken twice daily by mouth [that is] thought to modulate the immune response to be less inflammatory. It is similar to another disease modifying therapy, Tecfidera, but has a distinct chemical structure that has been shown to be better tolerated, with fewer reported gastrointestinal side effects.
Once taken, Vumerity converts to monomethyl fumarate. Researchers believe it works to halt nervous system damage. As explained, Vumerity has less side effects than Tecfidera, leading to a higher quality of life (QOL). Additionally, patients do not require dietary changes or restrictions while taking Vumerity. Outside of improving general QOL, prior studies have shown that this treatment lowers the rate of MS relapses and halted disease progression.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Most doctors consider multiple sclerosis (MS) to be an autoimmune condition, which means that the immune system mistakenly attacks the body. In this case, the immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath, or the protective covering of nerve cells. As these nerve cells become exposed, communication between the brain and body is inhibited. MS may be progressive (continuing without remission) or relapsing-remitting (episodes of remission and intense symptoms). An estimated 2.3 million people have MS globally, and it is most common in women and those of middle age. Symptoms and characteristics of MS, which usually appear between ages 20-40, include:
- Pain, particularly in the back and eyes
- Muscle weakness and numbness
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Difficulty walking, speaking, swallowing, thinking, or understanding
- Heat intolerance
- Blurred or double vision
- Difficulty with bladder control
- Sexual dysfunction
- Rapid, involuntary eye movements