(RxWiki News) There's a new medication to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Relyvrio (sodium phenylbutyrate/taurursodiol) to treat patients with ALS.
Sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS has no cure. But new treatments like this may improve patients' lives.
“This approval provides another important treatment option for ALS, a life-threatening disease that currently has no cure,” said Dr. Billy Dunn, director of the FDA's Office of Neuroscience, in a press release.
In patients who have ALS, the disease attacks the nervous system cells that control voluntary muscles. Over time, this causes patients to lose the ability to control those muscles.
That means daily activities like chewing, walking, talking and breathing can become impossible. According to the FDA, many cases result in paralysis, and most result in death due to respiratory issues.
An estimated 20,000 Americans have ALS, according to the FDA. And around 5,000 more are diagnosed with the disease each year.
And now, there's a new treatment option for those individuals. The FDA approved Relyvrio based on the results of a study of 137 adults with ALS.
In the study, those who received Relyvrio (instead of a placebo) saw a slower rate of decline in physical function and longer survival.
Relyvrio, which can be mixed with water and taken orally, can be administered through a feeding tube.
Common side effects of Relyvrio included upper respiratory tract infection, nausea, stomach pain and diarrhea.
Speak with your healthcare provider about the best treatment available for your condition.