From Pharmacy Drug Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

Gilenya® (fingolimod) is an oral prescription medication manufactured by Novartis for use in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Approved by the FDA on September 22, 2010, Gilenya® is the first oral medication that treats relapsing forms of the disease and may help to reduce disability progression, overall disease activity and the development of brain lesions.[1]

Gilenya® works by helping retain lymphocytes in lymph nodes, thereby reducing the body's immune system attacks on the central nervous system. This mechanism helps protect the nerve fiber covering and may lower nerve cell damage caused by an inflammatory response.[1]

Common side effects of Gilenya® include viral infection, headache, loose or runny stool, back pain, and abnormal liver tests.[2]

Manufactured by Novartis[1]
Brand name for Fingolimod[3]
Delivery method Oral capsule[4]
Side effects Macular edema, elevated liver enzymes, bronchitis, diarrhea, shortness of breath, slowed heartbeat with first dose[4]
Disclaimer The information provided by is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not take any action based on the information on this page without consulting a physician.
Author Laura Acevedo


Gilenya Overview

Gilenya®, considered a "novel" drug as it does not fall under any existing classifications, is has been shown to substantially reduce relapse of multiple sclerosis and delay progress of the disease. It has been shown to lower relapse instances by as much as 52%. It is a sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor (S1PR) modulator, and does not cure MS but can help control physical symptoms.[1]


Gilenya Abuse

Gilenya® is not a drug that is typically abused, as it is not a stimulant and does not produce any feelings of euphoria. However, any drug may abused if it is not taken as directed. Taking too much Gilenya®, or ignoring doctor's instructions, could prove dangerous. Research shows that 20 percent of the United States population has abused prescription drugs.[5]


Overview of Gilenya's side effects

Gilenya Side Effects

The most frequently-reported Gilenya® side effects include flu, coughing, headache, diarrhea, and irregularities with liver testing.[2]

While a promising treatment for MS sufferers, Gilenya® does have potentially serious side effects. It can cause lung, eye and heart toxicity, which increases a patient's risk of infection. Routine monitoring is required to check for potential liver damage, macular edema, bradycardia and elevated blood pressure. Other Gilenya® side effects observed during clinical trials included shortness of breath, bronchitis and diarrhea.[4]

Patients taking Gilenya® are advised not to get certain vaccines, and to wait for two months to get them after discontinuing the drug. Patients who have never had the chicken pox and have not been vaccinated for it may need to get the chicken pox vaccine before starting Gilenya®, and then wait for a month before commencing treatment.[2]

Patients with low heart rates, liver problems, diabetes or other illnesses may not be good candidates for Gilenya®.[2]

The FDA advises patients taking Gilenya® to undergo routine monitoring with their health care provider to avoid potentially harmful side effects.[6]

Gilenya Dosing Instructions

Gilenya® is a once-daily pill. The first dose is typically administered at a medical facility, and then the patient is monitored while any side effects are observed. The heart rate will initially slow with the first dosage, and then begin to return to normal after six hours, and become fully normal again within a month.[7]


Also See: Gilenya Free Samples, Gilenya Patient Assistance Programs, Gilenya Coupons, Gilenya Side Effects, Medical Marijuana



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2