Tysabri Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

taking tysabri

TYSABRI Treatment Multiple Sclerosis is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease. TYSABRI increases the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). When starting and continuing treatment with TYSABRI, it is important to discuss with your doctor whether the expected benefit of TYSABRI is enough to outweigh this risk.

It is not known if TYSABRI is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.

With TYSABRI Treatment Multiple Sclerosis, trained healthcare professionals administer your infusion* every 28 days. The actual infusion takes about an hour. You’re then asked to stay for another hour just to make sure you’re not having an infusion-related reaction that may need medical attention.

The most common side effects of TYSABRI are:

  • Headache
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Lung infection
  • Pain in your arms and legs
  • Vaginitis
  • Stomach-area pain
  • Feeling tired
  • Joint pain
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Nose and throat infections
  • Nausea.

It’s possible for some people to have an allergic reaction to Tysabri. Symptoms include anaphylaxis, hives, itching, breathing problems, chest pain, nausea, flushing, dizziness, and rash. You’ll need to stay at your doctor’s office for about an hour after you get the drug to make sure the reaction doesn’t happen.

After the FDA first approved TYSABRI Treatment Multiple Sclerosis, the drug’s manufacturer took it off the market due to reports of a rare but serious brain infection called PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy). The company introduced a program that requires everyone taking the medicine to register and to follow up every so often in order to find any possible cases of PML as soon as possible. With these safety programs in place, the drug went back on the market.

Your risk for PML goes up with the number of doses you take. It’s also higher for people who’ve taken drugs that turn down their immune systems before they use Tysabri or if you have a history history of infection with JC virus (John Cunningham virus). Because of this risk, doctors usually recommend Tysabri only for people who’ve tried other MS treatments that haven’t worked.

Besides PML and allergic reactions, other serious side effects include liver damage and serious infections.

Talk with your doctor about these side effects and whether Tysabri would be a good option for you. Together you can weigh the risks and benefits and decide if you should take the drug.