A Common OTC Antihistamine formerly known as Tavist was pulled from market shelves all across the nation when studies found it almost instantly repaired damaged myelin In patients with Multiple Sclerosis.
Could also be huge implications for people with diabetic Neuropathy.
Antihistamine Shows Evidence of Stimulating Myelin Repair in Small Phase II MS Study
In a small, phase II clinical trial, the oral antihistamine clemastine modestly improved the transmission of electrical signals in the optic nerve in participants with MS who had optic nerve damage.
The improved transmission indicates that nerve-insulating myelin was repaired along the nerve pathways.
Clemastine is an over-the-counter allergy medication. Doses in this trial exceeded the maximum recommended for over-the-counter use. Clemastine affects a range of targets in the body, and involves the risk for side effects, particularly at increased dosages.
More studies are needed before the full benefits and risks of this approach can be verified. This team is conducting an additional trial in people with optic neuritis to further determine the safety and effectiveness of clemastine, as well as studies to identify compounds that may enhance myelin repair and cause fewer side effects.
Clemastine was identified as having possible myelin-repairing properties through innovative preclinical research conducted by National MS Society-funded Jonah Chan, PhD, who went on to become first recipient of the Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research for this pioneering work.
UPDATE: The full results of the study, led by Ari Green, MD (University of California, San Francisco), have now been published in The Lancet. (Preliminary results were previously presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in April 2016.)