Have questions? We have answers. Select a topic below to read up on treating relapsing MS with VUMERITY® (diroximel fumarate).
What kind of drug is VUMERITY?
VUMERITY is a DMT (disease modifying treatment). In the case of relapsing MS, DMTs may help:
It is important to note that DMTs do not treat symptoms. Instead, they aim to work at the root of relapsing MS disease activity. Learn more about how VUMERITY is thought to work.
How is VUMERITY similar to dimethyl fumarate?
In clinical trials, a medication called dimethyl fumarate was tested in people with relapsing-remitting MS. Once it’s processed in the body, VUMERITY takes the same active form as dimethyl fumarate. The information from the clinical trials is dimethyl fumarate data.
When was VUMERITY approved by the FDA?
VUMERITY was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2019.
What should I do before I start taking VUMERITY?
First, you and your healthcare provider should have an open conversation about your medical history. Take a closer look at which conditions are especially important to discuss.
Your healthcare provider should also check your white blood cell count:
How should I take VUMERITY?
During your first week, you’ll take the starter dose of one pill (231 mg) twice a day. After your first week, you’ll take the regular dose of two pills (462 mg) twice a day.
It’s important to take VUMERITY exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Swallow VUMERITY whole. Do not crush, chew, or sprinkle contents on food.
If you take too much VUMERITY, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away. Read more about VUMERITY dosing.
What should I know about taking VUMERITY with food?
If you eat at the same time you take your VUMERITY pills, you should not take your VUMERITY with a high-fat, high-calorie meal or snack. Eating a high-fat, high-calorie meal or snack at the time you take your VUMERITY pills could reduce the amount of the active ingredient that your body absorbs. The meal or snack should contain no more than 700 calories and no more than 30 grams of fat. Find snack or meal inspiration here.
What should I know about VUMERITY and alcohol?
If you’re taking VUMERITY, you do not have to stop drinking alcohol altogether.
But you should not drink alcohol at the same time you take your VUMERITY pills. That's because drinking alcohol at the same time you take your VUMERITY pills could reduce the amount of the active ingredient that your body absorbs.
I missed a dose of VUMERITY. How can I remember to take it?
Taking VUMERITY exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider gives you the best chance of getting its full benefits. Recommended dosing for VUMERITY is two pills taken twice a day. We have several tips that could help you stay on track with treatment.
Can I take VUMERITY if I’m pregnant?
You should always talk to your healthcare provider before taking VUMERITY if you are pregnant, interested in becoming pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed. That’s because it isn’t known how taking VUMERITY would affect an unborn baby or if it passes into your breast milk.
Have the COVID-19 vaccines been studied in people taking VUMERITY?
No, the COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been studied in people treating their relapsing MS with disease-modifying therapies, such as VUMERITY.
What should I know about COVID-19 and VUMERITY?
A separate small study was done with people with relapsing MS to understand how disease modifying therapies like VUMERITY and dimethyl fumarate (DMF), could affect the body's immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine. VUMERITY and DMF did not affect immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, people’s immune responses were about the same whether they were taking VUMERITY, DMF, or no treatment at all.
This study did not measure COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness, only IgG antibody responses to the vaccine. IgG antibodies are just one of the antibodies that help fight infections.
Other vaccines have not been studied in people taking VUMERITY or dimethyl fumarate. We do not know VUMERITY’s impact on vaccine effectiveness. As with any medical decision, talk to your healthcare provider if you’re considering any type of vaccination.
Can I receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
You may be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. As with any important medical decision, we strongly urge you to discuss your options with your healthcare provider. They can best advise you on which COVID-19 vaccine is right for you. The National MS Society is also a reliable resource for current vaccine-related information.
Do I need to stop or delay my treatment to take a COVID-19 vaccine?
The decision to stop, pause, or delay medical treatment—VUMERITY or otherwise—should always be a conversation with your doctor.
The National MS Society has provided guidance around continuing to treat with VUMERITY. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider for advice, as they know your treatment plan best.
How effective is VUMERITY?
VUMERITY is a pill that may help in three ways:
How can I tell if VUMERITY is working?
Talking to your healthcare provider about the results of your magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of your brain could help with the management of your relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). Brain lesions revealed on an MRI scan may help your healthcare provider determine how well your treatment is working.
During times of inflammation, the body produces toxins that can cause oxidative stress. When this oxidative stress builds up, it can damage cells or even destroy them in different parts of the body, including the central nervous system (CNS). Inflammation within the CNS can also cause oxidative stress, and oxidative stress may trigger more inflammation.
One way the body combats inflammation is through the Nrf2 pathway. This pathway is a complex communication system that defends cells against oxidative stress.
Although we don’t know exactly how VUMERITY works against relapsing MS, researchers have learned that the active form* of VUMERITY leads to activation of the Nrf2 pathway, which may help defend against oxidative stress. Talk to your doctor to learn more about your treatment options.
*Once it’s processed in the body.
Does VUMERITY have serious side effects?
Some serious side effects of VUMERITY include:
What are the most common side effects of VUMERITY?
Flushing and stomach problems are the most common side effects of dimethyl fumarate. Flushing symptoms are usually described as redness, itching, or rash. Stomach symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or indigestion.
Learn more about common side effects of VUMERITY and how they tended to decrease over time in clinical trials.
What should I do if I experience common side effects?
If you're experiencing any of the common side effects of VUMERITY, talk to your healthcare provider about trying the tips below.
Tips for flushing
Taking a non-coated aspirin (up to 325 mg) half an hour before taking VUMERITY may help with flushing. Taking VUMERITY with food (avoid high-fat, high-calorie meal or snack) may also help.
Tips for stomach problems
Over-the-counter medicines, like antacids, may help relieve stomach problems. Read more about tips for handling the most common side effects.
How long do common side effects last?
Flushing and stomach problems are the most common reactions, especially at the start of therapy, and may decrease over time. These are not all the possible side effects of VUMERITY. Keep in mind that everyone is different and may react differently to the same medication.
A separate study was done on stomach problems. Read more about how long they lasted for most people here.
What kind of support does VUMERITY offer?
Biogen, the maker of VUMERITY, is here to support you. Get tips, tools, and personalized assistance for your relapsing MS from Biogen Support Services, including:
We encourage you to learn more about the support that comes with VUMERITY. Remember, your healthcare provider is your first source of information.
How much does VUMERITY cost and what can I expect to pay for my relapsing MS treatment?
If you're eligible, the Biogen Copay Program could lower your medication cost to as little as $0.* For most commercially insured patients, VUMERITY costs $0.†
*There is an annual cap on the amount of assistance that patients can receive over a one-year period. Federal and state laws and other factors may prevent or otherwise restrict eligibility. People covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the VA/DoD, or any other federal plans are not eligible to enroll. You are eligible to enroll in the Biogen Copay Program for as long as it is offered, and you are treated with VUMERITY.
†74% of commercially insured patients taking VUMERITY paid $0 from 7/2022-12/2022, compared to only 18% of those taking generic dimethyl fumarate. Final costs may vary based on individual plans.
What can I do if my insurance doesn't cover VUMERITY?
Biogen, the maker of VUMERITY, offers financial and insurance support through Biogen Support Services. This includes speaking with Biogen Support Coordinators, who may be able to help you navigate insurance coverage, the Biogen Copay Program and Free Drug Program,‡ and support finding assistance through charitable organizations.
‡For eligible patients only.
How can I find out if I’m eligible for the Biogen Copay Program?
The Biogen Copay Program§ has no income requirements and no enrollment time limit for those who qualify. You can find out if you’re eligible by calling 1-800-456-2255. A Biogen Support Coordinator will answer your questions and help you enroll if you’re eligible for the Biogen Copay Program.
§There is an annual cap on the amount of assistance that patients can receive over a one-year period. Federal and state laws and other factors may prevent or otherwise restrict eligibility. People covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the VA/DoD, or any other federal plans are not eligible to enroll. You are eligible to enroll in the Biogen Copay Program for as long as it is offered and you are treated with VUMERITY.
How can a Nurse Educator help me?
Nurse Educators are registered nurses who work on behalf of Biogen, and many are MS-certified. They understand the challenges you may be facing and are ready to support you throughout your time on VUMERITY. They’re available to:
Although Nurse Educators can be a great resource for you, it’s important to remember that your healthcare provider is always your best source of information.
Contact Nurse Educators Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 8 PM ET at 1-800-456-2255. Hablamos español.
What resources are available for care partners?
Caring for someone with relapsing MS can be both fulfilling and challenging. It’s important to have a support system you can count on. Below are some resources you may find helpful along the way:
Caregiver Action Network: A great source for free articles, videos, advice, and resources.
CareGiving.com: Join a community that understands. Chat, get tips, and learn from stories written by other caregivers.