Multiple Sclerosis Home > Ampyra

Ampyra is a medication prescribed for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Specifically, this medicine is used to help improve walking in people with MS. It comes in the form of extended-release tablets and is typically taken twice daily. Possible side effects include headaches, dizziness, and insomnia.

What Is Ampyra?

Ampyra™ (dalfampridine) is a prescription medication licensed to improve walking in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
(Click Ampyra Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

This medication is made by Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.

How Does Ampyra Work?

Ampyra blocks potassium channels. Potassium channels are found throughout the body and have several different functions, including playing an important role in how nerves work. It is thought that Ampyra helps nerve signals travel down the nerves that have been damaged by MS.

Clinical Effects of Ampyra

Clinical studies have shown that Ampyra can improve walking speed in people with MS. For instance, in one study, over 30 percent of people taking Ampyra had a 20 percent or greater increase in walking speed, compared to only about 10 percent of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients).

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations include the following:
  • This medication comes in extended-release tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth twice a day.
  • Ampyra can be taken with or without food. Try taking it with food if it seems to bother your stomach.
  • Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets; make sure to swallow them whole.
  • Try to take your doses about 12 hours apart to keep an even level of the medication in your bloodstream.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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