How Effective is Gilenya & What are its Side Effects?

Gilenya or fingolimod is very powerful and if not used properly can cause some severe health issues or complication. There are some conditions that the use of Gilenya will not be advisable.

People that suffer from heart related conditions should not take gilenya or fingolimod as it will complicate the ailments. Gilenya should not be given to people that takes heart medication, those that just suffered from strokes, those having chest pains, heart failure, sick sinus syndrome (except a pacemaker is being used).

How Effective is Gilenya?

How Effective is Gilenya?

Gilenya or fingolimod is an immunosuppressant that effectively prevents the immune cells from reaching the central nervous system that is the brain and the spinal cord. This is because the Gilenya prevents the immune cells from leaving the lymph nodes.

Gilenya or fingolimod, because of its ability to suppress immune cells is mainly used in treating multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses. It cannot cure MS but it is effective and efficient in reducing the relapse frequency.

Those who are on gilenya or fingolimod should be observed in cases of experiencing weakness on a particular part of the body, problems with their vision, decrease in metal state, speech impairment and inability to walk. Gilenya or fingolimod may cause death as brain infection may occur.

What You Should Know Before Taking Gilenya?

Gilenya or fingolimod should not be taken by those that are allergic to gilenya or fingolimod and those with serious heart conditions like:

  • When the heart condition is so severe that it will require stay in the hospital.
  • Those suffering from “AV Block” it sick sinus syndrome, except they are on a pacemaker.
  • Those with serious heart conditions or those who just suffered from a stroke or heart attack, at least between the next six months.
  • Those on heart rhythm medications such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, flecainide, dronedarone, ibutilide, mexiletine, procainamide, propafenone, quinidine, or sotalol.

Your doctor should be informed if you have never had chicken pox infection, and also inform the doctor if you have never be protected with varicella vaccine also known as Varivax. If you haven’t taken the Vaccination, you will have to be vaccinated, and then wait for a month before taking gilenya or fingolimod.

For precautions, before taking gilenya or fingolimod, you should inform your doctor:

  • If you are suffering from a chronic condition.
  • If you have low heartbeat, usually less than 55 beat per minute.
  • If you faint regularly or have a low blood pressure.
  • If you have heart diseases, high blood pressure or regular heart failure.
  • If you suffer from diabetics, have liver or lung disease.
  • Suffer from asthma, sleep apnea or other breathing related difficulty.
  • If you have uveitis, history of eye conditions.
  • Inform your doctor if you take ketoconazole.

It is still yet not known how gilenya or fingolimod will affect pregnancy or pregnant women. You should however inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant. Those that are pregnant will be registered in the pregnancy register to monitor and evaluate the baby.

You will be suggested to use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy during the period of using gilenya or fingolimod and for two months after treatment had ended.

Gilenya is very active and will pass on to breast milk which will affect the baby being breastfeed. Thus do not breastfeed while on the medication.

Gilenya is not for person below 18 years of age.

What is the Recommended Dosage of Gilenya?

The recommended dosage for adults suffering from Multiple Sclerosis: 0.5 milligrams to be taken orally per day. The patient should be observed after the initial dosage.

Gilenya or fingolimod is used effectively for the treatment of those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, as it will reduce the frequency of attack and prevent accumulation of physical disabilities.

What are the Side Effects of Gilenya?

Some of the main side effects of gilenya or fingolimod include:

  • Severe headache and pain.
  • Diarrhea and pain in stomach.
  • Liver dysfunction is also a side effect of gilenya or fingolimod.
  • Nausea feelings.

If you experience allergic reaction to gilenya or fingolimod such as hives, swelling in the face, throat and tongue, endeavor to get medical help immediately.

The medication gilenya or fingolimod has been known to cause disabilities and can lead to death. So if you experience weakness in part of your body, impaired vision, changes in mental state, difficulty in speaking and walking; seek medical help immediately.

You should also note that these symptoms to occur gradually, so when you notice any slight change, visit your doctor.

If you are on gilenya or fingolimod, you should call your doctor anytime you experience any of the following severe side effects:

  • Experiencing slow heartbeat, feeling tired, dizzy and weak.
  • Feverish feeling, cold, vomiting, flu symptoms, having sores in your mouth, genital and anal region.
  • Experiencing stiffness in the neck, increase sensitivity to bright light. When you observe purple patches on your skin.
  • When you start noticing vision problems, eye pains or notice discoloration or patches or black spot in your vision. These symptoms usually start to manifest 3 to 4 months after you started taking Gilenya.
  • When you start experiencing convulsions, fainting, reoccurring headaches, constant buzzing in your ears, thinking problems.
  • Having problems breathing and tightening in your chest is also a severe side effect of gilenya or fingolimod.
  • When you start noticing yellow spot on your skin (jaundice), experiencing loss of appetite, having clay colored stool, nausea, liver problem, when urine are dark.
Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 10, 2019

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