Nuvigil (Armodafinil) is a medication used to “promote wakefulness” when treating people with disorders like narcolepsy, sleep apnea or shift work sleep disorder. In Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Nuvigil is a popular choice for treating fatigue. Nuvigil is often compared to Adderall which is primarily used to treat ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) but I am not sure if it is also an actual amphetamine or not; from what I gather, the chemical structure is very similar. That being said, Adderall is a schedule II controlled substance and Nuvigil is a schedule IV. Schedule II is defined as “drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous” where schedule IV is defined as “drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence”. Just for reference, there are 5 schedules (I-V) and the lower the number the more “dangerous”; heroin is a schedule I drug and a cough medication like Robitussin is schedule V. So knowing that I have to imagine it is not exactly the same.
Another gap in my blogging, but why? Well first comes the excuse; I have been relapsing… again. I had been really fatigued after what felt like a week of insomnia and then on Tuesday (the 24th) I woke up crazy dizzy and feeling weak. The sort of dizziness that is not the result of oscillopsia. I had forgotten just how bad it could be so I guess that even though I still have remnants of these symptoms every day, I am actually doing way better than I was last year. The improvements have just been so slow I could hardly notice!
OK, I am alive, I have not been active online though because I have just been so fatigued and all around feeling kind of… slow? Just unmotivated really. I have just been lying around not even wanting to move. I am not sure what it is? It has not been too hot especially since I got my new air conditioner (THANK YOU everyone who donated and helped me raise money, it would have taken me all year to save up that money on my own!). I still feel kind of “groggy” today but I was able to get myself up and a little active, by which I mean, I answered all my backed up emails and I am writing this very short post just to check in.
What is Lemtrada?
Lemtrada (Alemtuzumab) is a humanized monoclonal antibody used to treat people with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) who typically have not responded to 2 or more treatments. It is technically a type of chemotherapy as it was originally released as Campath (first FDA approved in 2001) to treat B-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (B-CLL) but was used at a much higher dose (Campath). It was later FDA approved for treating Multiple Sclerosis on Nov 14, 2014.
Is Lemtrada Chemo? Click Here to Read!
How Does Lemtrada Work?
First let’s briefly explore the role of the immune system in Multiple Sclerosis and what a Humanized Monoclonal Antibody is/does. Multiple Sclerosis is believed to be an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks itself (the Myelin Sheath in the case of MS).