Skip to content

    Multiple Sclerosis Health Center

    Select An Article

    Ampyra and Multiple Sclerosis

    Font Size

    About three-fourths of people with MS have trouble walking. It can be one of the most challenging parts of the condition.

    Dalfampridine (Ampyra) is a medication that helps you get around more easily. Unlike other MS treatments, it won’t keep symptoms from getting worse or change the course of the disease -- it’s just intended to improve how you walk.

    Recommended Related to Multiple Sclerosis

    Optic Neuritis: When MS Affects Your Vision

    It can happen all of a sudden. Your vision gets dim or blurry. You can’t see colors. Your eyes hurt when you move them. It’s a condition called optic neuritis, and it’s a common problem for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). The symptoms can seem scary, but most people recover fully, often without treatment.

    Read the Optic Neuritis: When MS Affects Your Vision article > >

    How It Works

    Ampyra helps electrical signals move better along the nerves in your brain and spinal cord. When you have MS, your nerves lose the protective coating, called myelin, that helps messages zip up and down your body. That means your muscles don’t get clear signals that tell them when and how to move.

    Ampyra restores the flow of those signals and helps your nerves send their messages more effectively.

    How Do You Take It?

    You’ll need a prescription from your doctor. You take one 10-milligram tablet twice a day, 12 hours apart. You should never take more than one pill at once or more than two in 24 hours.

    You can take Ampyra with or without food. Swallow the tablets whole. Don’t break, crush, chew, or dissolve them before you take them. That could release the medication too fast in your body, possibly causing a seizure.

    Take only the dose your doctor prescribes. If you miss a dose, don't double up on the next one. If you take a higher dose or take them less than 12 hours apart, you can increase your risk of a seizure. If that happens, stop taking the drug and call your doctor right away.

    Side Effects of Ampyra

    The most common ones include:

    Some people also had relapses of their MS when they took the drug. Let your doctor know if you have any side effects.

    Before You Take Ampyra

    Talk with your doctor about whether it's the best medication for you and your symptoms.

    You should not take the drug if you:

    • Are taking compounded 4-aminopyridine (fampridine, 4-AP)
    • Have had seizures before
    • Have moderate to severe kidney problems

    Tell your doctor if you:

    You should also let your doctor know if you take any other prescription or over-the-counter meds, including any vitamins and supplements.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on October 11, 2014
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    nerve damage
    Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
    woman applying lotion
    Ideas on how to boost your mood and self-esteem.
    woman pondering
    Get personalized treatment options.
    man with hand over eye
    Be on the lookout for these symptoms.
    brain scan
    worried woman
    neural fiber
    white blood cells
    sunlight in hands
    marijuana plant
    muscle spasm