Good news! The use of Cladribine for the treatment of multiple sclerosis may be one step closer to a reality. In case you are not familiar with Cladribine, it is an ORAL (yes, you heard me right – oral - not injection!) medication for the treatment of MS.
The Cladribine tablets for treating MS orally (CLARITY) trial results were presented at the American Academy of Neurology conference in April 2009. The trial reported excellent findings on the effectiveness of the use of Cladribine for preventing MS relapses (for more information on the CLARITY trial results, please see results of the CLARITY trial – oral medication for multiple sclerosis - https://www.empowher.com/news/herarticle/2009/07/01/results-clarity-trial-%E2%80%93-oral-medication-multiple-sclerosis). If approved, Cladribine would be the FIRST oral medication available for the treatment of MS.
As someone who has MS, all I can say is HALLELUJAH! It’s about time! I have to say that I’m more than a little bit excited about the possibility of an oral medication. While I’m doing very well on the injection-based medication that I currently take, I have to admit that I don’t like shots. In truth, it’s much more than just not liking shots and needles.
I’m simply tired of having to take a shot every day. I’m tired of having to travel with a note from my doctor regarding why I need to have the medication with me so that the airlines and Homeland Security won’t send me to the strip search line. I’m tired of traveling with an ice chest no matter where I go to keep the medicine refrigerated. I’m tired of the hassle. Frankly, I’m just tired of being a “big girl” and sucking it up each night to give myself a shot. After 10 years, I’m simply tired of being “brave” about having to take a shot!
Yes, I know. Whine! Whine! Whine!! My family and friends will be shocked since I’m not a complainer but the truth is the truth. I’m really just a baby under this big brave exterior and I’m tired of this aspect of MS and its intrusion into my lifestyle. Given the chance, I’ll definitely be considering the oral medication as a treatment option instead of the injection. I think a pill is a marvelous idea whose time should have come about five years ago!!!
Merck Serono recently took steps to make my life much easier (and needle free). They’ve submitted a request for authorization to the European Medicines Agency for the use of oral Cladribine for the treatment of MS. They plan on submitting a request for authorization here in the U.S. sometime this quarter as well. If approvals go as planned, this treatment option could be available in 2010. If you or anyone you know is impacted by MS, then the approval progress for this drug is definitely something to watch on your radar. A reprieve may be just around the corner for those of us with needle phobia!!!
As with any treatment option, please consult your doctor for more information on whether or not Cladribine is right for you.
Cladribine (Mylinax), The Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre, 03 Aug 2009, http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=show&pageid=1629.
©2009 Mary Kyle. For more articles by Mary Kyle, please visit www.texpen.com.