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Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2008 Sep;13(3):465-77. doi: 10.1517/14728214.13.3.465 .

Emerging oral drugs for multiple sclerosis.

Author information

  • 1S Camillo-Forlanini Hospital, Department of Neuroscience, Viale dell'Universit√† 30, 00185 Rome, Italy.



Therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) has changed dramatically over the past decade, yielding significant progress in the treatment of relapsing/remitting and secondary progressive MS. Disease-modifying treatments are now widely available, and their beneficial effects on relapse rates, MRI outcomes and, in some cases, relapse-related disability have been shown in several clinical studies. However, as these treatments are only partially effective in halting the MS disease process and in clinical practice are frequently associated with injection-related side effects and suboptimal patient adherence, new oral therapeutic approaches are warranted.


The aim of the present paper is to present new promising results from emerging oral drugs for multiple sclerosis.


This review focuses on advances in current and novel oral treatment approaches for MS. Nevertheless, most of the data were obtained from Phase I/II clinical trials, we need further confirmation of their safety and efficacy profile from longer Phase III clinical trials.


Several pivotal reports have provided promising results for new oral therapies evaluating the safety and efficacy of new agents including fingolimod, fumaric acid, cladribine, teriflunomide and laquinomid.


It is unknown whether these oral drugs could be used as first-line treatment for MS; this will depend mostly on their safety profile. Alternatively, these drugs could be used as add-on treatment for failed first-line therapy, or as an effective induction agent.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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