New Pill Treats Multiple Sclerosis (Video)

BG-12 has few side effects, study shows

multiple sclerosis BG-12 pill

For people who suffer from multiple sclerosis, an experimental drug called BG-12 shows signs of being a promising new treatment.

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A recent study, led by Robert Fox, MD, of Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment, found that BG-12, which comes in pill form, is not only very safe but also well-tolerated by MS patients. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Study finds lower relapse rates, fewer lesions

Dr. Fox and his team of researchers studied more than 1,400 people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis — a type of MS characterized by relapses in which new symptoms can appear and old ones may worsen. Patients who took BG-12 showed lower annual reduced relapsed rates and fewer brain lesions compared to the placebo group.

Side effects were minor, the most common being skin flushing and stomach cramping, nausea and diarrhea.

 Oral medication alternative

BG-12, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration at the end of March, is now the second oral medication designed to treat multiple sclerosis.

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“Many patients, as you might imagine, prefer an oral pill over an injection,” Dr. Fox says. “And with BG-12 being effective and very well-tolerated and very safe, it becomes a very attractive option for MS patients.”

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