Dimethyl fumarate has been studied in clinical trials that included people with relapsing forms of MS. In these studies, the medication reduced the risk for disease relapse and slowed down the progression of disability.
More specifically, 27 percent to 29 percent of people given dimethyl fumarate relapsed over the two years of the study, compared with 41 percent to 46 percent of people given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients). In addition, 13 percent to 16 percent of people given dimethyl fumarate had progression of their disability, compared with 17 percent to 27 percent of those given a placebo.
Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with dimethyl fumarate include the following:
- This medication comes in the form of a capsule. It is usually taken by mouth twice a day.
- You can take dimethyl fumarate with or without food. Try taking it with food if it upsets your stomach. Taking the drug with food may also reduce flushing (warmth, redness, itching, or burning sensations) that can occur with its use.
- Try to take your doses at about the same time each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
- Swallow the capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, or open them. Do not sprinkle the capsule contents on food.
- For dimethyl fumarate to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
There is only one standard dose of this medication, regardless of your age or weight. As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
(Click Dimethyl Fumarate Dosage for more information.)