Darla’s TECFIDERA story

Darla is living with relapsing MS and has experience taking Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate). Watch the video to know her perspective and learn about the support she gets from her husband, Jim.

The people who appear in these videos have experience taking TECFIDERA. They may or may not be currently on TECFIDERA. They have been paid to share their stories about living with MS. Individual experiences with TECFIDERA may vary. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if TECFIDERA may be right for you.

Saying yes to Possibilities

Darla’s TECFIDERA Story
Brought to you by Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate).

Darla has experience taking Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate) to treat her relapsing MS. She may or may not be currently on TECFIDERA. Darla is a paid spokesperson for Biogen. Individual experiences may vary. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if TECFIDERA may be right for you.

Continue watching for Important Safety Information at the end of this video and visit Tecfidera.com

Darla: My name is Darla.

Darla E.

Darla: I’m from Seville, Ohio, where I live on a small farm with my husband. I was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2006. I woke up on the Friday of Labor Day weekend and the entire left side of my body was numb and tingling. Then, the day before Thanksgiving, I was given my final diagnosis of relapsing MS.

I was devastated. I went through the whole denial, and all the anger, and all the different phases that we go through with relapsing MS. And I really struggled in the beginning. I do have a care partner that helps me, and that is my husband.

Jim E., Darla’s husband

Jim: Darla’s diagnosis of MS has brought us a lot closer together. Making the decisions as far as how to take care of her–things we have to change in our life to make things more convenient on her. Try to reduce as much stress on her as possible.

Darla: He’s been absolutely wonderful through all of this. I started with an injection therapy. That was all that was available in the beginning. And I’m going to be honest, I struggled to be compliant with that therapy. I struggled because I have a fear of needles and to do an injection was very difficult for me. I was continually having relapses, so I needed something that I knew I could commit to.


Darla: We found an MS specialist.

TECFIDERA® (dimethyl fumarate) is a prescription medicine used to treat people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults. It is not known if TECFIDERA is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
Darla: When we first discussed TECFIDERA, he went over all the clinical trials and talked about how it is showing that...

In 2 separate two-year studies in adults with relapsing-remitting MS, compared with placebo, TECFIDERA:

  • Cut the risk of relapses*
  • Slowed the development of brain lesions
  • Slowed the progression of physical disability

*In Study 1, TECFIDERA reduced the risk of relapse by 49% (27% had a relapse with TECFIDERA, and 46% with placebo). In Study 2, TECFIDERA reduced the risk of relapse by 34% (29% had a relapse with TECFIDERA, and 41% with placebo).
Darla: …it has possibilities of reducing relapses, and slowing progression of disability, and it was an oral medication and I thought this was a good fit. And my neurologist felt that this was a good fit for me as well. So, we were both confident in making that change.


Individual experiences may vary.

In Study 1, TECFIDERA was shown to reduce the number of Gd+ lesions by 90%, new or newly enlarging T2 lesions by 85%, and new T1 lesions by 72% compared with placebo. In Study 2, TECFIDERA was shown to reduce the number of new or newly enlarging lesions by 74%, 71%, and 57%, respectively.
Darla: My last MRI, in my opinion, was fabulous. I have no new lesions. The lesions that I do have are inactive, and my doctor said that this was my best MRI to date.

Darla’s Experience with Side Effects

Darla: When my doctor and I started talking about TECFIDERA, he discussed how the most common side effects were stomach issues, and flushing.

The most common side effects of TECFIDERA include:

  • Stomach problems
  • Flushing

Common side effects can happen especially at the start of treatment and may decrease over time.

Darla: Throughout the first month I experienced—where my stomach hurts, spasms, cramping.


  • To help with flushing, take with: Aspirin (up to 325 mg) 30 mins before taking TECFIDERA
  • To help with flushing and stomach problems*, take with: Food

*This tip is based on a small 12-week study looking at people experiencing stomach problems while taking TECFIDERA. They recorded their experience of managing stomach problems.

Darla: So, my doctor told me taking TECFIDERA with food might help with my stomach problems. I followed his guidance, and then, since that time, I’ve not experienced any more of those side effects.

Your healthcare provider should check your white blood cell count and liver function:

  • Before starting therapy
  • During therapy as determined by your healthcare provider

TECFIDERA may cause serious side effects, including allergic reactions, PML, which is a rare brain infection that usually leads to death or severe disability, decreases in your white blood cell count, liver problems, herpes zoster infections (shingles), and other serious infections.

Darla: My doctor did discuss how we were going to watch my white blood cell count, and I get my blood work done every 6 months, and so far it has always come back in the normal ranges. As far as the liver, I am getting that checked now on a regular basis and that has come back within normal ranges as well. I had a great experience because my doctor went over everything I needed to know about the common side effects of TECFIDERA. I recommend everyone to talk to their doctor, or healthcare staff, about what to expect. My husband, he tries to be at most of my appointments. He’s a big part of my life, and obviously MS is a big part of my life, so we make most of the decisions together.

Jim: What would I say to the other care partners? One thing would be: have a lot of patience. The other one would be to educate yourself on MS. The more you educate yourself, the better you’re going to be at helping your partner.

Darla: He’s been there and he’s been wonderful through all of this. I commend him for that. He’s my hero.

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