Frequently Asked Questions
Whether BAFIERTAM® (monomethyl fumarate) is your first treatment for relapsing MS or you're switching over from another medicine, you may have questions. We've got answers.
BAFIERTAM is a disease-modifying therapy (DMT) used to treat relapsing MS in adults. DMTs aren't cures. They may delay the progression of disease and reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms.
BAFIERTAM treats relapsing MS by helping the body regulate the immune system in a way that has been shown to reduce MS symptoms with other fumarates. Dimethyl fumarate (DMF), for example, is absorbed in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where it's converted to the active ingredient monomethyl fumarate (MMF), that treats MS. BAFIERTAM contains the active agent MMF, so it doesn't need to be converted.
DMF was studied in 2 clinical trials and was shown to reduce the number of relapses, delay the progression of disability, and slow the development of brain lesions in MS. When DMF is absorbed in the GI tract, it's converted to the active agent MMF, which treats MS. BAFIERTAM is pure MMF, therefore it doesn't need this GI metabolic conversion.
There are different oral therapies used to treat relapsing MS.
DMF has to be converted in the gut to become the active agent that treats MS. BAFIERTAM directly provides the same active agent as DMF,* giving you the same benefits without needing to be converted in the gut.
*There have been no head-to-head studies of BAFIERTAM versus dimethyl fumarate.
BAFIERTAM has a unique mechanism of action. Through its direct delivery of monomethyl fumarate, it has been shown in preclinical studies to help protect the central nervous system and boost the body's ability to regulate the immune system that might otherwise allow continuing MS symptoms.
Before starting BAFIERTAM, your healthcare provider will draw your blood to check your liver function and your complete blood count. Additional blood tests are then needed during treatment. Six months after you start treatment, you will have another blood draw. From there, you should expect annual or semiannual blood tests. Even if you are already taking another fumarate, you may still need a blood test.
If you switch from another therapy, BAFIERTAM may be initiated after you discontinue that treatment. Your doctor will continue to monitor your lab results and any potential side effects to ensure the switch to BAFIERTAM was appropriate for you.
Follow the instructions you receive from your doctor.
If BAFIERTAM is your first oral medicine for relapsing MS, you will begin treatment with half the dose—just one 95-mg capsule by mouth twice a day. After 7 days, your doctor may increase the dosage to two 95-mg capsules (190 mg) twice a day.
If you are already taking another fumarate, your doctor may start you on the full dose of BAFIERTAM.
BAFIERTAM can be taken with or without food. Swallow BAFIERTAM capsules whole and intact. Do not crush, chew, or mix the contents with food.
Like all medicines, BAFIERTAM may cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects of BAFIERTAM are flushing, redness, itching, or rash.
GI side effects—such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea—tend to occur more commonly during the first month of treatment.
To help lessen GI side effects, it is recommended that you take BAFIERTAM without food. You can take BAFIERTAM with food if you wish. There is no need to avoid high-fat, high-calorie meals or snacks, as required with some other oral medicines.
These are not all the possible side effects of BAFIERTAM. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report side effects or adverse events to the FDA at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/.
For more information, please see the full Patient Information.
Banner Patient Support can help you get started on BAFIERTAM. We provide assistance with insurance coverage and financial support, as well as ongoing information about BAFIERTAM.
If you have additional questions or want to learn more about Banner Patient Support, please call 1-855-3BANNER (1-855-322-6637) Monday through Friday (8:30 AM to 8:00 PM ET).
MS is an autoimmune disease. That means the body's immune system attacks itself. In this case, the immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, the spinal cord, and the optic nerve in the back of each eye. In a person with MS, the protective coating around the nerve fibers in the CNS is damaged. People with relapsing forms of MS have attacks or flare-ups of new symptoms, or old symptoms may get worse.
BAFIERTAM treats all 3 forms of relapsing MS:
- Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS): A first attack of MS symptoms, lasting for at least 24 hours
- Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS): Flare-ups followed by times of remission or recovery; this is the most common type of relapsing MS
- Active secondary progressive MS (SPMS): Neurologic function gets worse over time, with consecutive relapses and worsening disability