AMPLIGEN Adapted from article in About.com (Drug Profiles for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) --see links at end of this blog
What Ampligen Is:
Ampligen (polyu I: poly C12U) -- an experimental anti-viral, immune-system modulating drug that's been in the works for more than 30 years. -- studied as a possible treatment for multiple conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome i.e.CFS or ME/CFS, HIV/AIDS, certain types of cancer, and, most recently, avian flu (H5N1) and swine flu (H1N1).
Ampligen's manufacturer, Hemispherx Biopharma Inc., has applied for FDA approval of Ampligen as an ME/CFS treatment... the decision is expected in June 2009.
What Ampligen Does:
Ampligen is believed to work by jump-starting your body's natural anti-viral pathway and regulating levels of RNase L (see definition below *), which can be high in people with ME/CFS. It's also been shown to inhibit tumor-cell growth.
Ampligen for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
Ampligen has been shown to improve ---cognition ---exercise tolerance ---neuropsychological health and overall function in people with ME/CFS ---decrease activity of HHV-6 -a virus believed to be linked to ME/CFS, and ---decrease RNase L activity.
Hunter-Hopkins Center (of USA) says 80% of its trial patients improved on Ampligen, and 50% improved significantly.
Ampligen is administered intravenously (I.V.). In trials and under conditional permits by the FDA, patients typically have received 400mg of the drug twice a week. Hunter-Hopkins recommends at least 12 months of therapy, and 18 months for the severely ill.
Ampligen's Possible Side Effects:
---Mild flushing ---Tightness of the chest ---Rapid heartbeat ---Anxiety ---Shortness of breath ---Feeling hot ---Sweating ---Nausea ---Liver enzyme level changes ---Diarrhea ---Itching ---Low blood pressure ---Rash ---Arrhythmias ---Low white blood cell count ---Dizziness ---Confusion ---Some patients have flu-like symptoms for a few hours after receiving a dose of the drug, and the company says these effects typically went away after several months of treatment.
* RNase L definition:
A cellular enzyme that is part of the body’s immune defense. RNases are extremely common in the body and act to break up ribonucleic acid (RNA). Studies of CFS patients have shown that: ---RNase levels are often higher than normal. While the reason for this is not clear, some speculate that it could be related to a viral attack. ---the RNase destroys all of the RNA within the cell, whether cellular or viral.
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