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Would Siponimod Suit You if You Have Multiple Sclerosis?

With more than 2.8 million people around the world, MS, or Multiple Sclerosis is soon turning out to be, one of the most common diseases of the Central Nervous System. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease affecting the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves). MS is caused by damage to the fatty material which insulates the nerves called myelin.




It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks your myelin sheath of nerve fibres and damages them. Myelin sheath is a protective sheath around nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord. Damage to the myelin sheath interrupts nerve signals from your brain to other parts of your body. The damage can lead to symptoms affecting your brain, spinal cord, and eyes. Vision problems, muscle weakness, loss of balance, and muscle coordination or numbness. If, the disease progresses, worsening of symptoms may lead to complications such as Difficulty in walking that may result in the need for a walker or wheelchair, loss of bowel or bladder control, Memory problems, and Sexual difficulties. Doctors use various medicines to treat Multiple Sclerosis and its impacts. Let us see one such drug called the Siponimod.

What is Siponimod?

Siponimod is not a cure for Multiple Sclerosis but it helps to slow down the effects and reduces the relapses. Siponimod is in a class of medications called sphingosine l-phosphate receptor modulators. It works by decreasing the action of immune cells that may cause nerve damage. Siponimod is used to prevent episodes of symptoms and slow the worsening of disability in adults with relapsing-remitting forms of Multiple sclerosis.

How is Siponimod available?

Siponimod comes in Tablet form and is to be taken by mouth. The strengths of the tablets are 0.25 mg, 1 mg, and 2 mg.

Common Brand names in which Siponimod is available are

· Mayzent by Novartis.

· Siponimod by Metrochem API Pvt Ltd.

· Siponimod CAS No.1230487-00-9 by Jigs Chemicals.

How to take Siponimod?

· It is a prescription-based medicine and hence has to be taken under medical supervision. The doctor will assess before starting the course.

· Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Never alter the dose

· Never crush or break the tablet, swallow it whole.

· If you miss a dose inform your doctor as soon as possible. You may need to restart the entire therapy if the doctor has initiated the first dose and it is increasing. A medication timer is helpful to remember the dose.

· A titration is required when the dose is initiated. The maintenance dose is 2 milligrams (mg). The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients as it is based on the Genotype of patients.

· For genotypes *1/*1, *1/*2, or *2/*2—At first this medicine is taken as a 5-day titration schedule with a 12-tablet starter pack. 0.25 milligram (mg) once a day for Days 1 and 2, 0.5 mg (two 0.25 mg tablets) once on Day 3, 0.75 mg (three 0.25 mg tablets) once on Day 4, and 1.25 mg (five 0.25 mg tablets) once on Day 5. Then, a maintenance dose of 2 mg once a day starting on Day 6.

· For genotypes *1/*3 or *2/*3—At first, this medicine is taken as a 4-day titration schedule with the 7-tablet starter pack. 0.25 milligram (mg) once a day for Days 1 and 2, 0.5 mg (two 0.25 mg tablets) once on Day 3, and 0.75 mg (three 0.25 mg tablets) once on Day 4. Then, a maintenance dose of 1 mg once a day starting on Day 5.

Common side effects of Siponimod include

All drugs exhibit some side effects, and Siponimod also has several side effects. Some of the mild side effects are listed below.

· Weakness

· Pain in the arms, legs, hands, or feet

· Diarrhoea

· Headache

Severe side effects of Siponimod include

· Increased Blood pressure

· Sudden severe headache

· Slow heartbeat

· Decreased lung function

· Neck stiffness

· Nausea

· Confusion

· Symptoms of Macular Edema are some side effects too. Look out for changes in vision, blurriness, or sensitivity to light. Sometimes unusual colours to your vision or other vision problems. Inform your doctor immediately in case you find these side effects.

· Seizures

· Weakness of the body. Weakness experienced in the arms or legs that may get worse over time.

· Experience of changes in thinking, loss of memory, or balance.

· Confusion or personality changes

· New or worsening shortness of breath

· Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain.

· Dark urine

· Yellowing of eyes

· Siponimod weakens the immune system and hence may increase the chances of infections. Infections like shingles, fungal infections, and sinus infections are commonly seen in patients. Other infection symptoms include sore throat, body aches, fever, chills, and cough. The signs of infections need to be reported to your doctor immediately.

· Some tests have shown that, Siponimod may increase the risk of evolving skin cancer.

If you experience any of the above symptoms or side effects, you must seek immediate medical attention.

Precautions before using Siponimod

All drugs interact with each other and the food you eat. The interactions cause different effects. Sometimes these are unwanted and severe effects. Before starting treatment with Siponimod make your doctor aware if you have any medical condition, have a history of any medical condition, taking any prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs.

· Inform the doctor if you are pregnant.

· Tell the doctor if you are breastfeeding.

· Inform the doctor if you have any eye problems.

· Also, remember to talk about any alcohol consumption or addiction you may have.

The doctor may conduct the following tests before starting the therapy

· The eye tests.

· The complete blood reports.

· Liver function test.

· Electrocardiogram.

· A genetic test if found necessary.

How do you know that Siponimod is the drug for you?

Pharmacogenetic testing is the answer! It focuses on precision medicine to improve drug efficacy and safety. Precision medicines have proved to be efficient for many. These tests are a boon for patients who have been spending a lot of money on responsive treatments. It helps to meet the accurate need of the patients. MEDNAwise is an affordable and accessible pharmacogenetic test made available by Indus Health Plus. It is a no-prick, simple spit swab test. You can take it at your home and send the samples for testing. With the test results, it is easy for the doctor to start the precise treatment in the budding stages and curb the advancement of the disease. Furthermore, genetic counsellors can help you decide your diet and further health check-ups based on the test results. MEDNAwise can tell you if Siponimod suits you. MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic test analyses your genes and can predict your response to 70+ drugs. You can now know if a particular drug is effective for your unique self. MEDNAwise helps lower the rate of therapeutic failure and reduces the chances of any adverse drug reactions. It helps your doctor to find the best-suited drug for you.

Choose a healthy way to live your life. Book your MEDNAwise test today!

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