Generic Name: dalfampridine, Oral tablet

Ampyra

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  • Ampyra
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for dalfampridine

Oral tablet
1

Dalfampridine is an oral medication used to help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) improve their walking distance and speed. It’s taken along with other treatments for MS.

2

The recommended dose is one 10-mg tablet taken twice per day about 12 hours apart. Taking additional dalfampridine has no extra benefit but could increase your side effects.

3

Dalfampridine may increase your risk of having a seizure. Don’t crush or break the tablets. This may cause you to absorb the drug more quickly, which increases your risk of seizure.

4

Your doctor may do a blood test to check how well your kidneys are working before you start taking dalfampridine. Reduced kidney function increases your risk of a seizure.

5

Common side effects include urinary tract infection, trouble sleeping, dizziness, and headache.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
  • brain

    May cause seizures See Details

  • allergy

    May cause a potentially severe or life-threatening allergic reaction See Details

May cause seizures

You could develop a seizure while taking dalfampridine, especially if you take too much or if your kidneys aren’t working properly and can’t remove it fast enough from your body. Don’t take dalfampridine if you’ve ever had a seizure.

May cause a potentially severe or life-threatening allergic reaction

This reaction can occur very quickly and cause trouble breathing, swelling of your throat or tongue, or hives. If any of these symptoms occur, stop taking dalfampridine and call your doctor right away or get emergency medical help.

Drug Features

Dalfampridine is a prescription drug. It is available in these forms: oral extended-release tablet.

Dalfampridine is used as part of a combination therapy. You’ll likely need to take at least one additional drug to treat multiple sclerosis.

Why It's Used

Dalfampridine is used to improve walking distance and speed in adults with multiple sclerosis.

How It Works

How dalfampridine works isn’t clearly understood.

More Details

How It Works

How dalfampridine works isn’t clearly understood. It’s believed that dalfampridine increases the ability of nerves to transmit signals by keeping potassium from leaking from the nerves. This may allow better communication from the nerves to the muscles and lead to improved walking in people with multiple sclerosis.

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dalfampridine Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with dalfampridine include:

  • urinary tract infection

  • trouble sleeping

  • dizziness

  • headache

  • nausea

  • weakness

  • back pain

  • problems with balance

  • relapse of your multiple sclerosis

  • burning, tingling, or itching of your skin

  • nasal and throat irritation

  • constipation

  • upset stomach

  • pain in your throat

Mild side effects may disappear within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if your side effects are more severe or don’t go away.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life-threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • seizures, which have occurred in people who have never had them before. They have happened within days to weeks of first taking dalfampridine.

  • severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

    • trouble breathing
    • swelling of your throat or tongue, or hives.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Dalfampridine does not cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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dalfampridine May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Dalfampridine may interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

4-aminopyridine (4-AP, fampridine)

Don’t take dalfampridine with any other forms of 4-aminopyridine (4-AP, fampridine). Dalfampridine and 4-AP have the same active ingredient. If you’re taking any medication containing 4-AP, stop the medication before starting dalfampridine. Too much of this active ingredient in your body may increase your risk of seizures.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with seizure disorders

Dalfampridine may increase seizure risk. Don’t take dalfampridine if you have a history of seizures.

People with kidney disease

If you have moderate or severe kidney disease, you shouldn’t take dalfampridine. Dalfampridine is removed from your body by your kidneys. Kidney disease may lead to an increase in the amount of dalfampridine in your body and could increase your risk of seizures.

Pregnant women

Dalfampridine is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Speak with your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Dalfampridine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are nursing

It isn’t known if dalfampridine passes into breast milk. If it does, the drug may be harmful to your baby. You and your doctor should decide if it’s more important for you to take dalfampridine or to breastfeed.

For Seniors

Dalfampridine hasn’t been studied in enough people older than 65 years to know how it will affect them. Kidney function can decrease in people this age. If you’re a senior, you could be at greater risk of seizures. Your doctor may do a blood test to see how well your kidneys are working before giving you dalfampridine. Your doctor may also check your kidney function periodically while you take the drug.

For Children

The safety and effectiveness of dalfampridine haven’t been studied in children under the age of 18 years.

Allergies

Dalfampridine can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

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How to Take dalfampridine (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Multiple sclerosis

Brand: Ampyra

Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 10 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years)

The dose is 10 mg taken twice per day. Doses should be taken approximately 12 hours apart.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years has not been established.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

If you are older than 65 years, your kidney function may be decreased. If your kidneys don’t work well enough to remove the drug, it could build up in your body. This could increase your risk of seizures. Your doctor may do a blood test to see how well your kidneys are working before giving you dalfampridine.

Special considerations

Kidney Disease: If you have mild kidney disease, your doctor may test your kidney function before starting you on dalfampridine. If your kidney function is too low, the usual dose may build up in your body and increase your risk of seizure.

You shouldn’t take this drug if you have moderate or severe kidney disease with reduced kidney function.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Dalfampridine comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed by your doctor.

If You Don’t Take It at All

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, progressive condition. It can worsen over time, especially if it’s left untreated. Multiple sclerosis is active in your body and can damage your nervous system even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. Taking your medication as directed by your doctor, even when you’re feeling well, will give you the best chance of managing multiple sclerosis and improving your quality of life.

If You Stop or Miss Doses

If you stop taking this medication, miss doses, or don’t take it on schedule, your ability to walk may worsen.

If You Take Too Much

If you take too much dalfampridine, call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. 

What To Do if I Miss a Dose

If you forget to take a dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time. Don’t take two doses at the same time.

How Can I Tell if the Drug is Working?

You may experience an improvement in walking distance and speed if the treatment is working. Your doctor may measure this improvement during office visits.

This drug helps to improve walking in some people with multiple sclerosis, but it doesn’t work for everyone. You should experience the full effect of the medication within a few weeks after starting it.

Dalfampridine is a long-term drug treatment.

Dalfampridine is an extended-release tablet and should not be crushed

Crushing the tablet may release the medicine too fast and increase your chance of having a seizure.

Store in temperatures from 59–86ºF (15–30ºC)

Safely throw away dalfampridine that is out of date or no longer needed.

Note: Be careful of moist environments, including bathrooms. To keep drugs away from moisture, store them somewhere other than your bathroom and any other damp location. 

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag. 
  • Don’t keep your medication in your luggage or in a car where the temperature could rise.
  • If you’re traveling in a warm climate, keep this drug in air conditioning. Keep it in a tightly closed container away from heat and moisture. 
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the original prescription-labeled bottle with you when traveling.

Clinical Monitoring

Your doctor may check your progress and measure your ability to walk and your walking speed.

Your doctor may check your kidney function before and during treatment. Your doctor may monitor changes in your kidney function. If your kidney function gets worse during treatment, you may stop taking dalfampridine.

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead

Your local pharmacy may be able to order this drug for you with advanced notice. 

Some insurance plans may require you to get this drug from a specialty pharmacy. These pharmacies operate like mail order pharmacies and ship the drug to you.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for dalfampridine.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are several drugs that can treat multiple sclerosis. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

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How Much Does dalfampridine Cost?

Oral tablet
We've partnered with GoodRX so you can compare prices and save money on your next prescription. Check out the lowest cash prices below and enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

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Lowest price for dalfampridine

Membership warehouse $1,802.72
Publix $1,809.09
Kroger Pharmacy $1,809.83
These represent the lowest cash prices for dalfampridine and may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Susan J. Bliss, RPh, MBA and Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on April 29, 2015

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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