Original Research Article

CNS Drugs

, Volume 28, Issue 9, pp 817-824

First online:

Real-World Use of Fingolimod in Patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: A Retrospective Study Using the National Multiple Sclerosis Registry in Kuwait

  • Jasem AL-HashelAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Ibn Sina HospitalFaculty of Medicine, Kuwait University
  • , Samar F. AhmedAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Ibn Sina HospitalDepartment of Neurology and Psychiatry, Minia University
  • , Raed BehbehaniAffiliated withDepartment of Ophthalmology, Al-Bahar Eye CenterNeurology Clinic, Dasman Diabetes Institute
  • , Raed AlroughaniAffiliated withNeurology Clinic, Dasman Diabetes InstituteDivision of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Amiri Hospital Email author 

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Abstract

Background

Fingolimod is an oral sphingosine-1-phosphate–receptor modulator, which has demonstrated efficacy in clinical trials and has recently been approved for multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment in Kuwait. Post-marketing studies are important to demonstrate real-life efficacy and safety.

Objective

The objective of this study was to examine the efficacy and safety of fingolimod treatment in a clinical setting.

Methods

Using the national Kuwait MS registry, relapsing remitting MS patients who had been prescribed fingolimod for ≥6 months were retrospectively identified. Three-monthly clinical evaluations and 6-monthly magnetic resonance imagings (MRIs) were performed. Patient status pre- and post-treatment was compared using chi-square and Student t-tests.

Results

A total of 175 patients were included: 75.4 % female (n = 132); mean age 33.3 ± 9.2 years; mean disease duration 7.2 ± 5.2 years; mean fingolimod use 21.7 ± 9.1 months. Most had used previous disease-modifying therapy (78.9 %; n = 138), mainly interferons (66.9 %; n = 117). Twenty-three patients (11.4 %) discontinued/withdrew fingolimod; of whom eight had relapses. The proportion of relapse-free patients improved significantly (86.3 % vs. 32.6 %; p < 0.001), while the proportion of patients with MRI activity decreased (18.3.6 % vs. 77.7 %; p < 0.001). Mean expanded disability status scale (EDSS) score at the last visit improved when compared with pre-treatment (2.26 ± 1.49 vs. 2.60 ± 1.44; p = 0.03). Forty-three (24.6 %) patients experienced adverse events; headaches and lymphopenia were the most commonly reported adverse events.

Conclusion

Fingolimod treatment was associated with reduced relapse and MRI activity, and an improved EDSS score. Discontinuation/withdrawal rates and adverse events were low. Fingolimod presents a promising treatment for MS in Kuwait.