• Lisa Emrich
    Health Guide
    November 21, 2008
    Lisa Emrich
    Health Guide
    November 21, 2008

    Hi momdukes,


    There is a far amount of anecdotal evidence that 4-AP (4-aminopyridine) can be an effective drug to address symptoms of MS.  It works by blocking potassium-ion channels in demyelinated areas of nerves, in effect helping to boost the electric signal.


    The drug 4-AP must be obtained from a compounding pharmacy as it is not available commercially.  There is a drug company, Acorda Therapeutics, who has completed trials for their version called Fampridine-SR.  They estimate that it may receive FDA approval sometime next year.  Fampridine-SR is considered to be safer than compounded 4-AP.


    Some neurologists have reservations in prescribing 4-AP; some are not familiar with it beyond the increased risk of seizures; and some have several patients who take it and are doing really well. 


    There is a group of patients who are actively discussing their experiences with 4-AP.  As I've never tried it, I'd recommend that you read their stories at Patients Like Me.  One patient started a journal and others have jumped in.  The journal is now 68 pages long and full of information.


    If you do talk about it with your neurologist and give it a try, I encourage you to share your experience with us in your Shareposts (which I have enjoyed reading already).



    • tuisima
      April 14, 2011
      April 14, 2011

      I have been taking 4ap for left leg weakness/Lyme disease for 10 days at 2.5 mgs with lunch once a day.  I took 5mg. to start and had a cascade of side effects that were intolerable.  First I got dizzy, then I got full of rage although nothing was happening that should make me angry and my thinking (usually crisp) got very confused to where I could not understand the newspaper....But my left leg got very strong.  This lasted maybe 6-8 hours. Now I am trying  half that much and going for a nap after lunch in order to sleep through the rage which is less than on the 5 mg. dose, as is  the leg strength.  When I get up  am still woozy and not understanding so well but I have a much stronger better afternoon and evening..  I have my eye on the prize and hope I can work with this.


      Septra also made my left leg stronger but had unpleasant mental effects of fatigue and depression and I worried about kidney problems long term.

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