While there is no cure for Multiple sclerosis MS, there is a wide range of medicines for multiple sclerosis that can mollify the symptoms. Many of these medications are disease-modifying therapies intended to limit the severity of the impact on the CNS. Multiple sclerosis is considered to be an autoimmune disease. MS affects the central nervous system which comprises the brain and spinal cord.
There are different forms of MS:
- Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)
- Secondary progressive MS (SPMS)
- Primary progressive MS (PPMS)
- Benign MS
MS drugs compared
There’s no cure for multi-sclerosis. However, the FDA approved over 10 medications that can speed your disease progression by preventing recurrent symptoms and limiting its spread.They can help to prevent a rash and reduce the chance of another recurring occurrence. You can get these tablets by injection in your veins either via injection or by injection. Often it’s easier than it seems to others. The medications may also produce different symptoms. Most medication is used to treat the most common MS condition, relapsing-resistant MS. The drug treats a progressively invasive form. Some doctors may prescribe medications to cure MS and other conditions.
Injections, Infusions, Oral Drugs and Other MS Medications
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune illness affecting the central nervous system. The CNS includes your brain and optic nerves that control your vision. MS can cause gradual and sudden changes in symptoms after being controlled for some periods. Symptoms suddenly appear and are known as relapse. MS is not cured and the damage caused cannot be reversed. However, some medications are effective at controlling the symptoms. Condition management is concerned with prescribing medicines for treating relapse and modifying the disease to lower damage to the body.
In very rare circumstances, MS patients can develop progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy PML which is a very rare brain disease. This can be a serious complication for patients being treated with some disease-modifying therapies (DMTs).
The only solution for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy PML is the cessation of the immune system treatments being administered to multiple sclerosis patients.
Medicine for Multiple Sclerosis
Because there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, any medicine can only treat the multiple sclerosis symptoms. Disease-modifying therapies are often the first course of action offered by medical practitioners. I have been offered interferon beta by my G.P.
Now both interferon beta and glatiramer acetate are approved by the FDA. I did not, at the time, consider these to be effective disease-modifying therapies. While I was aware that MS affects the nervous system and my immune system was probably impaired. I was not prepared to suffer the potential side effects of interferon beta used to treat my relapsing-remitting ms.
Side effects of glatiramer acetate
My G.P. advised me that the side effects of both glatiramer acetate and interferon beta were similar to having a serious infection of influenza or flu-like symptoms. I was also acutely aware that my relapsing-remitting MS had probably advanced to secondary progressive MS. So, I was reluctant to try FDA-approved medications used to treat relapsing MS when I felt that I now had a brain and spinal cord affected by advanced MS relapses.
Blood cells are immune cells
People with MS have a compromised immune system. While FDA-approved drugs like dimethyl fumarate and interferon beta 1A are drugs used to treat MS. Some forms of MS do not respond to monomethyl fumarate or interferon beta 1B.
The side effects of glatiramer acetate on the immune system can restrict the white blood cells of the immune system from working correctly as immune cells. If the disease activity is limited to the spinal cord, you may not suffer cognitive symptoms.
Blood tests for MS
Certain blood tests will be performed to check on the suitability of new medication to limit the relapses. Only drugs approved by the FDA should be considered safe forms of treatment.
Other available treatments
Dimethyl fumarate and interferon beta 1B can improve the performance of white blood cells But, as inferred earlier, the side effects can be significant. Dimethyl fumarate known by the brand name Tecfidera is only effective in treating active relapsing-remitting MS.
However, the side effects must be taken into account. Because, often, the side effects are worse than the condition they are supposed to be helping.
Both interferon beta 1A and interferon beta 1B can limit the severity of most MS symptoms with minimal side effects. Monomethyl fumarate has side effects that include: diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.
However, blood pressure is not normally associated with MS symptoms but every time I consult my G.P. she takes my blood pressure. This indicates, to me, that there is some significance for my MS relapses.
About Disease-modifying therapies
Disease-modifying therapies, or DMTs, are a class of medications that are used to treat multiple sclerosis. They work by modifying the course of the disease, slowing down the progression of damage to the brain and spinal cord. There are a number of different DMTs available, each with its own set of side effects. Some people may experience mild side effects such as nausea or diarrhoea, while others may experience more serious side effects such as liver damage. It is important to talk to your doctor about any potential side effects before starting a DMT.
Not everyone with MS is eligible for DMTs. Your doctor may need to do a blood test to check your liver function before prescribing a DMT. You should also avoid taking DMTs if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
DMTs can be expensive, so make sure you check with your insurance company to see if they are covered.
Some of the most common DMTs used to treat MS include:
- interferon beta-1a (Avonex, Rebif)
- interferon beta-1b (Betaseron, Extavia)
- glatiramer acetate (Copaxone)
- natalizumab (Tysabri)
- fingolimod (Gilenya)
- alemtuzumab (Lemtrada)
- Diroximal fumarate similar to Tecfidera. (Vumerity) to be taken twice daily
DMTs are not a cure for MS, but they can help to slow down the progression of the disease and reduce the number of relapses. If you are starting on a DMT, it is important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits.
Why you might be hesitant to try DMTs
There are a number of reasons why you might be hesitant to try DMTs. Some of the most common reasons include:
- fear of side effects
- concern about the cost
- uncertainty about the benefits
It is important to remember that not everyone will experience side effects from DMTs, and the benefits of taking them should be weighed against the risks. It is also important to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have before starting on a DMT.
Injecting DMTs can be dangerous, as it increases the risk of infection.
When injecting a DMT, it is important to use a sterile injection site and to clean the injection area with alcohol or soap and water. It is also important to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing the injection.
If you are not careful, it is possible to introduce bacteria into the injection site, which can lead to an infection. Symptoms of an infection include fever, chills, redness and swelling at the injection area, and flu-like symptoms.
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away. Antibiotics may be needed to treat the infection.
It is important to take precautions when injecting DMTs in order to reduce the risk of infection. Follow all instructions from your provider carefully and be sure to clean the injection area properly. If you experience any symptoms of infection, seek medical attention right away.
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Multiple sclerosis MS
The earlier you start treatment for MS, the better your prognosis will be. If you are diagnosed with MS early on, there is a good chance that your symptoms can be managed and you may not experience any serious health complications.
However, if you wait too long to start treatment, the damage to your brain and spinal cord may be irreversible. This is why it is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of the common symptoms of MS, even if you are not sure if they are related to the disease.
The sooner you start on a DMT, the better your chances of managing the progression of MS. Talk to your doctor about whether or not DMTs are right for you.
Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy PML
This is a reminder of the rare but possible complication of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
While DMTs are generally safe and effective, there is a small risk of developing a serious complication called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML is a rare brain infection that can lead to death.
The risk of developing PML is highest for people who are taking natalizumab (Tysabri), and the risk decreases over time. If you are taking Tysabri, your practitioner will need to do regular blood tests to check for signs of PML.
PML is a very serious complication, so it is important to be aware of the risks associated with DMTs. Talk to your specialist about any concerns you may have before starting on a DMT.
MS is not a Death Sentence
- MS is not a death sentence
- Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) worry that they will die from the disease. However, MS is not a death sentence.
- Early diagnosis and treatment is key
- If you are diagnosed with MS early on, there is a good chance that your symptoms can be managed and you may not experience any serious health complications.
- Talk to your specialist if you have any concerns about MS
- Your doctor can also refer you to a neurologist or other specialist who can help treat your MS.
How your Medical Specialist will make the diagnosis of MS
If you are experiencing any of the common symptoms of MS, your neurologist will likely perform a number of tests to help make a diagnosis. One of the most common tests is called an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging. This test uses magnets and radio waves to create images of the inside of the body.
Your neurologist may also order a lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, to collect spinal fluid for testing. This test can help to rule out other diseases that may cause similar symptoms.
Results of the MRI
An MRI can help your practitioner to see the extent of damage that has been done to your brain. The images from the MRI can help to identify lesions, or areas of damage, that are characteristic of MS.
The lesions may appear as dark spots or shadows on the MRI. The number, size, and location of the lesions can help your specialist to determine the severity of your MS and to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Result of the lumbar Puncture or Spinal Tap
The lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, is a common test that can be used to help diagnose MS. This test involves collecting a sample of spinal fluid for testing.
The spinal fluid can be used to look for evidence of infection or other diseases that may cause similar symptoms. This test can help to rule out other causes of the symptoms and help to make a diagnosis of MS.
Result of the Visual Evoked Potential Test
The visual evoked potential or VEP test is another common test used to help diagnose MS. This test measures the electrical activity in the brain in response to visual stimuli.
MS can cause damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to changes in vision. The VEP test can help to identify these changes and confirm a diagnosis of MS.
Storage of MS Medications
When taking oral medications for MS, it is important to follow the specific storage instructions given by your neurologist. You may need to store some medications ion the refrigerator, while others may need to be stored at room temperature.
It is important to keep medications in their original containers and to never mix them with other medications or supplements. This can help to ensure that you are taking the correct dose of each medication and that the medications are not interacting with each other.
Ongoing Care for MS Patients
MS is a chronic disease that requires ongoing care and management. There is no cure for MS, and the disease can progress over time.
It is important for MS patients to have a healthcare team that includes a doctor who specializes in MS, a neurologist, and a pharmacist. The healthcare team can work together to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to the individual needs of the patient. Ensuring the use of approved medications to limit relapses.
It is important for MS patients to stay as active as possible and to continue with their regular activities and routines. Exercising regularly and participating in physical therapy can help to maintain strength and mobility.
What is a monoclonal antibody?
A monoclonal antibody, or mAb, is a type of protein that is produced in the laboratory. mAbs are made by taking a single B cell from the immune system and cloning it into millions of identical cells.
mAbs are used to treat a variety of diseases, including MS. They are administered intravenously and can help to reduce inflammation and damage to the nervous system.
While mAbs can be expensive, but they are a very effective treatment for MS. Patients typically see a significant improvement in their symptoms after starting treatment with mAbs.
mAbs are generally well tolerated by patients and provide significant benefits for those with MS.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
HBOT is not a medicine but it is an effective treatment for MS.
HBOT is a therapy that involves breathing 100% oxygen while in a chamber that is pressurized to two to three times the normal atmospheric pressure.
The high concentration of oxygen in the blood can help to repair damaged tissue and reduce inflammation. HBOT has been shown to be an effective treatment for MS, and it is typically well tolerated by patients.
Patients who undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy will need to have regular follow-up appointments with their healthcare team to monitor the progress of their disease.