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adverse events, Delphi study, multiple sclerosis, nursing, opinion, therapeutic use



  1. Campbell, Trudy L.
  2. Lefaux, Beatrice Jenny
  3. Mayer, Lori Lee
  4. Namey, Marie
  5. Riemer, Gisela
  6. Robles-Sanchez, Miguel A.
  7. White, Sarah
  8. Edwards, Michael
  9. Minor, Charles


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events (AEs) are commonly encountered with delayed-release dimethyl fumarate (DMF), an approved treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). METHODS: Two hundred thirty-nine MS nurses from 7 countries were asked to complete a 2-round Delphi survey developed by a 7-member steering committee. Questions pertained to approaches for mitigating DMF-associated GI AEs. RESULTS: Ninety-six percent of nurses followed the label recommendation for DMF dose titration in round 1, but 77% titrated the DMF dose more slowly than recommended in round 2. Although 86% of nurses advised persons with relapsing forms of MS (PWMS) to take DMF with food, patients were not routinely informed of appropriate types of food to take with DMF. Most nurses recommended both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic symptomatic therapies for PWMS who experienced GI AEs on DMF. Pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic symptomatic therapies were regarded as equally effective at keeping PWMS on DMF. In round 2, 58% of nurses stated that less than 10% of PWMS who temporarily discontinued DMF went on to permanently discontinue treatment. Sixty-six percent of nurses stated that less than 10% of PWMS permanently discontinued DMF because of GI AEs in the first 6 months of treatment in round 1. Most nurses agreed that patient education on potential DMF-associated GI AEs contributes to adherence. CONCLUSION: This first real-world nurse-focused assessment of approaches to caring for PWMS with DMF-associated GI AEs suggests that, with implementation of slow dose titration, symptomatic therapies, and educational consultations, most PWMS can remain on DMF and, when necessary after temporary discontinuation, successfully restart DMF.