Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fingolimod Facts

I guess since there's basically nothing in the way of side effects to report, I need to dig up some Fingolimod Facts to bide my time until I can report on my first update neurologist visit.

Fingolimod is a still-investigational drug that, given orally, acts as a superagonist to sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors on the surface of thymocytes and lymphocytes, causing them to be sequestered in secondary lymph organs.

What that means is the misbehaving T cells that are thought to be the attackers of the myelin in MS are not allowed to come out and play, but kept in the lymph glands until needed for a real (as opposed to imagined) invader's attack.

This reduces the overall number of circulating lymphocytes available to mount an autoimmune reaction to the myelin sheath surrounding axons in MS.

These lymphocytes are apparently a lot like undercover cops dispatched at a concert... going around acting all normal and blending in until a problem arises. Then WHAM! they are there to attack the rioters (myelin). Unfortunately, these lymphocytes are like bad cops ... they react first and ask questions later, beating the myelin into submission without asking the axons (the nerve cells) if they were buddies with myelin or not. These bad cop/lymphocytes can get so carried away that they not only beat the myelin to a pulp, but also give the axon itself a pretty good working over too.

Fingolimod is going to keep the bad cops sequestered at the station on desk duty.

FTY720 is a chemical modification of the ISP-1 metabolite of the fungus Isaria sinclairii (Dong Chong Xia Cao).

In other words, it comes from a Chinese fungus. With all the recent toy recalls maybe I should rethink ingesting a fungus from China. hmmm

Fingolimod was first used in clinical trials with transplant patients to see if it worked better than conventional therapies for reducing rejection.

Apparently the final conclusion was that it was no better than what the doctors already had to work with.

So, in researching facts to add to this post I have come to the startling conclusion that I really don't know a whole lot about this little pill I'm popping every day. Of course I don't know a whole lot about my vitamin and I take that. FTY720 has shown me about the same number of side effects as my vitamin, too. Zip, zilch, nada, nyete (okay now I'm just showing off).

Every once in a while I think "ooooo, my hands are getting sweaty and my heart is beating a little fast and I feel like I can't catch my breath..." Then I realize that's not a side effect of Fingolimod; I'm having a stupid panic attack. Then I chill out and I'm fine.

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