(HealthDay News) — An active ingredient in some psoriasis and multiple sclerosis medications has been linked to two cases of a rare and sometimes lethal brain infection.
The ingredient, dimethyl fumarate, appears to have contributed to the deaths of two European women. The women contracted progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, according to two letters published in the April 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
One case involved a 54-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis. She died in October 2014 from complications related to PML and pneumonia, following 4.5 years of treatment with a time-delayed form of dimethyl fumarate carrying the brand name Tecfidera, researchers reported.
The second case was a 64-year-old woman with psoriasis. She died in August 2014 from PML after being treated with a delayed-release dimethyl fumarate compound with the brand name Psorinovo for two years, according to the researchers.