What is Gilenya?

Gilenya is the trademark name for a medication known as fingolimod. It is an immunosuppressant that works by keeping immune cells trapped in your lymph nodes so they can’t reach the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Gilenya is used to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults. The medication is not a sure for MS, however patients find relief in its ability to lessen the frequency of relapse symptoms.

The use of Gilenya is not advised if the patient has serious heart conditions, kidney disease, breathing disorder or have recently been sick. The first dose of Gilenya is given in a hospital setting to monitor the patients heart rhythm. The patients blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored for 6 hours after receiving the first dose of Gilenya. Regular testing is required to ensure that this medication is not causing harmful effects on the patients eyes, blood cells, blood pressure, liver function, and lung function.

Stopping the use of Gilenya suddently can have dangerous effects on the patients health. Before stopping its use patients are advised to contact the prescribing physician for dose reduction, gradually being weened off the medication. Restarting the medication will require the patient to be monitored once again in a hospital setting.

Gilenya Side Effects

Common, less serious side effects include but are not limited to:

  • headache
  • tired feeling
  • back pain
  • diarrhea
  • stuffy nose
  • sinus pain
  • cough

Dangerous side effects requiring medical attention include:

  • slow heart rate
  • dizziness
  • feeling very weak or tired
  • chest pain
  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest
  • sudden numbness or weakness
  • severe headache
  • problems with speech or walking
  • wheezing
  • chest tightness
  • trouble breathing
  • cough with yellow or green mucus
  • fever, chills, body aches,and other flu symptoms
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sores in your mouth and throat
  • signs of skin infection
  • upper stomach pain, loss of appetite
  • dark urine
  • clay-colored stools
  • jaundice
  • vision problems

Gilenya Use

Gilenya is used to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults. This medication is not a cure for the disease but an form of relief from relapsing symptoms of MS. Patients taking Gilenya require careful monitoring to ensure their health and safety. Gilenya is to be used only as directed by the prescribing physician, stopping its use abruptly can be a danger to the patients health and requires dosage reduction. Restarting Gilenya after stopping requires monitoring and further testing to ensure the patients health.

Gilenya Dosage and Directions

The recommended dose of Gilenya is 0.5 mg orally once daily. Higher doses of Gilenya can have serious effects on the patients health. Gilenya can be taken with food and drink. The first dose of Gilenya must be given in a hospital setting to monitor the patients heart rate and blood pressure. Discontinuing the use of Gilenya requires dosage reduction. If the patient chooses to starting taking Gilenya again they will be required to undergo hospital monitoring for 6 or more hours.