What are the possible side effects of fingolimod (Gilenya)?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Serious side effects of fingolimod include slowing of the heart and heart block, macular edema (swelling inside part of the eye), breathing problems, high blood pressure, and abnormal results on liver function lab tests. It may also raise the risk of infections, such as the flu, bronchitis, and sinusitis. Severe chickenpox and herpes infections have occurred. Other side effects include headache, back pain, diarrhea, and cough.

Some people taking fingolimod have developed PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy), a viral brain infection. This is rare, but it can lead to death or permanent disability.

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