Fingolimod and Dimethyl Fumarate Show Positive Outcomes in Multiple Sclerosis

MRI of a spine
A total of 70 patients were included in the full analysis – 37 in the early surgical treatment group and 33 patients in the delayed surgical treatment group.
Investigators compared the effectiveness of fingolimod and dimethyl fumarate in patients with RRMS.

Patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis can benefit from treatment with either fingolimod or dimethyl fumarate, according to a study published in Neurology.

This score-matched study examined the effects of fingolimod and dimethyl fumarate on 550 treatment naive patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and on patients who were switching medications. Patients were divided into a fingolimod arm (n=275) and a dimethyl fumarate arm (n=275). Patients had clinical visits and magnetic resonance imaging scans of the brain and spine every 6 months for 18 months.

The results of this study show that for the first 18 months on either medication, no evident disease activity is likely and there was not a significant difference in outcomes between the 2 medications. Fingolimod was a better option for patients switching medications, increasing the chance of remaining in remission by 43%. Fingolimod had more dropouts due to adverse events than dimethyl fumarate. Further research is needed to evaluate a larger sample of patients and a longer time frame. 

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In conclusion, both fingolimod and dimethyl had positive short-term benefits for patients with relapse multiple sclerosis, though fingolimod was a better option for patents switching medications. 


Prosperini L, Lucchini M, Haggiag S, et al. Fingolimod vs dimethyl fumarate in multiple sclerosis: A real-world propensity score-matched studyNeurology. 2018; 91(2):e153-e161.