China maleic anhydride manufacturers

What are fumaric acid esters and side effects of fumaric acid esters

What are fumaric acid esters?
The fumaric acid esters (FAE) monoethyl fumarate (MEF) and dimethyl fumarate (DMF) are chemical compounds derived from the base compound fumaric acid. Fumaric acid food grade is a food additive commonly found in sweets and cakes. In this chemical state, fumaric acid is poorly absorbed and passes straight through the body without causing any effects. On the other hand, fumaric acid esters are potent chemicals or drugs that have been used to treat psoriasis for over 30 years. However, it is only within the last decade that serious clinical research has been carried out to determine their use, effectiveness and safety in the treatment of psoriasis and other skin conditions.
It is important to emphasise the difference between fumaric acid and fumaric acid esters. Fumaric acid formulations are available as health supplements and often marketed as a natural alternative medicine to treat psoriasis. They are in fact poorly absorbed by the gut and basically excreted via urine without having any therapeutic effect whatsoever.
What are the side effects of fumaric acid esters?
The main side effect that causes a high dropout rate in most clinical trials is gastrointestinal complaints, which occur in up to 60% of patients. Gastrointestinal problems manifest as diarrhoea, nausea and stomach cramps and pains. In addition, flushing occurs in 30% of patients and is worse at the onset of therapy.
Other more serious side effects that have occurred include kidney disturbance and reduced function and white blood cell abnormality. It is essential that kidney function and blood count should be monitored regularly when taking FAEs. These changes appear to be reversible when treatment is stopped and to date there are no reports of severe long-term toxicity.
Further studies are required to determine how exactly FAEs work in psoriasis. Dimethyl fumarate appears to be the major active ingredient and further investigation into refining the currently available FAE formulation may reduce the side effect profile and make it a more acceptable treatment for psoriasis.