Ask Larry:

Question: I’m a PPMS patient, using (F)Ampyra at the moment. My neuro told me today that 4AP has never been proven. I’m confused. I thougt 4AP is the main ingredient of Fampyra…

Who is right? Me or my neuro?

Larry’s Response:

Your doctor is probably more confused than you are.

4-aminopyridine (4AP) is the chemical we’ve used for years – all the while the manufacturers were working to get approval for their commercial version of what we’ve been making. Somewhere along the line they decided to cal the chemical, dalfampridine (trade name Ampyra). They probably have reasons, but, personally, I don’t understand. I know, however, that their commercial product is a slow release version of 4-aminopyridine. The only medical and chemical difference is that Ampyra is slow release and most compounding pharmacies make the regular release preparations – which I think are clinically superior.

I don’t know what the doctor means by “never been proven”. That’s okay because it is becoming very common for doctors to say and do things that I don’t understand. After 40+ years in the health field I now find that common sense and logic have been replaced by what drug company marketing people say.