) is a prescription medication approved to treat multiple sclerosis
). Unlike most MS medications that are taken by injection, Gilenya is taken by mouth.
Who Makes This Medication?
This medication is made by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
It is still unclear how exactly Gilenya works to treat MS. The drug is classified as a "sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator." It binds to certain receptors in the body and prevents lymphocytes from leaving the lymph nodes. This decreases the number of lymphocytes in the bloodstream. A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell that plays an important role in the immune system.
Clinical studies have shown that Gilenya decreases the relapse rate in people with MS, compared to a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients). Studies have also shown that Gilenya decreases new (or newly enlarged) brain lesions, as seen with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).