Novantrone® is a chemotherapy intravenous infusion used to treat MS.
In-clinic intravenous infusion
Once every 3 months, for 2 to 3 years maximum
Secondary-progressive MS, relapsing forms of MS, and worsening relapsing-remitting MS.
Compared to placebo over two years, Novantrone®:
- Decreased risk of relapse requiring steroids by 66.7%
- On MRI, showed no new T2 and Gd enhancing lesions
- Reduced disability progression by 43.5%
Common Potential Side Effects
Nausea, alopecia (hair thinning), stomatitis (mouth irritation)
PLEASE NOTE: Because of the potential risks, Novantrone® is seldom prescribed for individuals with MS.
HOW Novantrone® WORKS
Novantrone® belongs to the class of medications called antineoplastics. Before its 2000 FDA approval to treat MS it was only used as chemotherapy for certain types of cancer. Novantrone® acts in MS by suppressing T cells, B cells, and macrophages activity thought to lead the attack on the myelin sheath.
Novantrone® was FDA-approved in 2000 to treat adults with secondary-progressive MS, relapsing forms of MS, and worsening relapsing-remitting MS.
Potential Side Effects
Nausea, thinning hair, loss of menstrual periods, bladder infections, and mouth sores; additionally, urine and whites of the eyes may turn a bluish color temporarily. Novantrone® carries the risk of cardiotoxicity (heart damage) and leukemia; it may not be given beyond 2 or 3 years. People undergoing treatment must have regular testing for cardiotoxicity, white blood cell counts, and liver function. Because of the potential risks, Novantrone® is seldom prescribed for individuals with MS. Anyone taking Novantrone® now or given Novantrone® previously needs to have annual evaluations of his or her heart function, even if no longer receiving this medication.
OTHER KEY INFORMATION
Annual testing completed after starting Novantrone® includes:
- Heart function evaluation even if no longer receiving Novantrone®
Regular testing completed after starting Novantrone® includes:
- White blood cell counts
- Liver function
Patient advocates talk about
their treatment experience
Kristie Salerno Kent“I have had situations where treatments aren’t approved at first. My doctors, nurses, they actually go to bat for me and made it happen.”
Azure Antoinette"I will be undergoing my first disease-modifying therapy to help treat multiple sclerosis in my body and while I’m very nervous, I am equally as excited and looking forward to the positive effects of how I will feel physically, and mentally, and emotionally."
Damian Washington“Nobody’s going to be looking out for your best interests better than you.”
Cathy Chester“I think it’s really important to talk about how to age with this illness.”
Lauren Hutton-Work“Just because you have this disease does not mean that your work life should be awkward or uncomfortable.”
Chernise Joseph“My first neurologist was a frontline neurologist, he wasn’t an MS specialist.”
Julian Gamboa“If you’re newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis remember it’s always okay to get a second opinion.”
Lauren and Sam Alcorn“Our future is uncertain and we have to enjoy each other and love each other in the present.”
Shawn Feliciano“I want to know what medications might work best for someone who’s Hispanic.”
Darlene Feigen“The sooner you get on a therapy the better it is in the long run.”
Birgit Bauer“At the end of the appointment you should have an answer to the most important questions.”
Ellen Tutton“I looked up all the different disease-modifying therapies and compared them to my lifestyle.”
Victoria Marie Reese“I’m trying to show my daughter that taking care of yourself is cool.”