9 Things to Know About the New ALS Drug Radicava

On May 5, the FDA approved the first new treatment in 22 years for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The drug, Radicava (edaravone), has been found to slow down the decline of physical ability in ALS patients by a third. Find out more about the FDA approval of Radicava here. 

MORE: Four treatments that can improve life with ALS

Here are some important things to know about Radicava:

  • The drug underwent a phase 3 clinical trial in Japan and South Korea where 137 ALS patients were given either Radicava or a placebo. The group given Radicava experienced a 33 percent reduction in the decline of their physical abilities compared to the placebo group.
  • Radicava works by reducing the oxidative stress in the body. People with ALS have high levels of oxidative stress.
  • Radicava is administered via intravenous infusions. Initially, patients have a daily infusion for two weeks and then have two weeks’ rest. After that, they need to have 10 consecutive daily infusions followed by two weeks’ rest.
  • Each infusion takes around an hour to complete.
  • The dosage of each infusion is 60 mg.
  • The cost of each Radicava infusion is $1,000 and treatment costs $146,000 annually.
  • Radicava should be available to ALS patients in the U.S. by August.
  • The most common side effects associated with the drug are headaches, bruising and gait problems.
  • Radicava infusion contains sodium bisulfite which is known to cause both mild and severe allergic reactions in some people (particularly those with asthma).

MORE: TV presenter talks about her father’s journey with motor neuron disease

ALS News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

16 comments

  1. Barry Wilson says:

    The image associated with this post is misleading as it shows tablets when the drug is clearly applied intravenously.

  2. T Reed says:

    I get that you are trying to be funny, but clearly you are not personally affected, nor do you love someone personally affected by this disease.

    • Bill says:

      I have ALS, and I though the 45 years, was Funny…. Lighten-up, Cheer up, as that goes a LONG..Long way in living longer, in my condition! And I SURE as Hell can’t afford to spend $146K on treatment…. LOL!!

      • JH says:

        We have patient assistance programs in place to help. Please don’t think that we can’t help because the cost of the drug itself.

        • Glen Hopkins colon says:

          I’m hoping that the new radicava will help slow down the disease long enough for them to find a cure I was diagnosed almost 3 years ago and will be in a wheelchair in the next few months

  3. Peter Davey says:

    I have suffered from this disease for over 11 years and I actually thought that comment WAS funny.
    Give the guy a break!
    Humour is a positive tonic which keeps me going .
    Positive attitude and having a laugh is everything good and helps overcome the looming dark clouds above.

  4. Carol says:

    I heard that mass general hospital has the drug but cannot administer until greedy infusion companies figure out price points. I thought this would be figured out by now. The hospital tells patients it’s there, but they can’t have it. How do these ceos sleep at night?? They raised it from 65,000 to 90,00 or something like that. It’s not right. It’s unethical and it makes me so mad, and sad.

    • Louis says:

      Now available in some parts of US and should be available everywhere by end of October. Searchlight offers a discount and your insurance should cover some cost and what about Medicare. It will be expensive and you have to be your own advocate. I find neurologist monitor progression and suggest exercising. Research is making strides,,,,,,,,,,,, for future victims

  5. Rania Rapti says:

    Hello everyone….does anyone know how this drug works?my father is struggling with the disease and we re trying to get the drug to greece….if anybody can help with any info please do….

  6. I have had ALS for 2 years. What bothers me is that the drug will only keep give you an extra 2 to 3 months for $ 150k
    Why can’t they find something that will slow down the process for years instead of months ?
    I am deteriorating fast

    61 yo Rehoboth DE

  7. Tracy Taylor says:

    My cousin is very missed he was diagnosed Aug2015 and passed 3 months later on Nov.4 2015,”a day a lot of us will never forget “ALS really takes a toll on a person and ther family ,FIND A CURE!!

  8. Al Arnal says:

    I was told by my doctor that I did not meet the requirements to receive Radicava, you have to be in the early stage of ALS. Pittsburgh Pa. 1 1/2 yrs with ALS

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