More MS news articles for April 2001

Narcolepsy Drug Helps Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Friday April 06 12:22 PM EDT

Doctors in San Diego have found that a drug designed to treat narcolepsy is doing wonders for multiple sclerosis patients.

Approximately 80 percent of people with MS experience fatigue.

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, it may be the most disabling symptom for some individuals.

Neurologists at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego discovered that the drug modafinil, used to treat the sleeping disorder narcolepsy, also helps multiple sclerosis patients.

A small preliminary clinical trial conducted last year suggested that a 200-milligram dose may relieve fatigue symptoms in people with MS.

The study involved 72 people with MS, all of whom received a look-alike placebo at some point during the trial. Participants evaluated their own fatigue levels during different phases of the trial using three different self-reporting fatigue scales and one scale that self-reported "sleepiness."

Patients on active treatment reported significantly lower fatigue when they were on the drug than when they were taking the placebo. Side effects included nervousness, nausea, dry mouth, headache and diarrhea.

According to 10News, a month's supply of modafinil costs $90 and is covered by insurance.