1. Health

Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

Many advances have been made in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Disease-modifying treatments are improving quality of life for patients by preventing and reducing relapses and disability. In addition, many symptoms can be successfully managed and improved with medication and therapies.

Determining who is a "non-responder" to MS drugs early in the game
Those of us on therapy for MS can be on it for years without really knowing if it is helping or not. Research is showing that there are ways to determine if a certain therapy is right for us earlier in the course of treatment.

Learning (and reducing) your risk for serious side effects from MS medications

Injecting Multiple Sclerosis Medications
Self-injecting medications for multiple sclerosis (MS) can be stressful, especially at the beginning. While it will never be pleasurable to give oneself a shot of MS medication, there are a couple of things that can make it more pleasant.

Monitor Side Effects of Medications for Multiple Sclerosis
Almost any medication we take has potential side effects. By monitoring the effects and side effects of your medications, you can get the most out of your treatment, while reducing their negative effects.

Tips on Self-Injecting MS Medications for Needle Phobes
Most people do not like to give themselves injections. However, for many of us with MS, it is a part of our lives. Reduce the stress around the needle using some of these tips.

Treatment of Cognitive Dysfunction in Multiple Approaches
Cognitive dysfunction affects at least 50% of people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Direct treatment of this symptom has not been successful. However, there are some approaches and treatments that may help people with MS-related cognitive dysfunction.

Research Your Treatment Options
Most of us with multiple sclerosis (MS) are taking medications, sometimes lots of them. It is important to know about the drugs that we are taking, how they may interact with each other and what they may be doing in our bodies. Learn how to research your medications.

Multiple Sclerosis Drug Financial Assistance Ideas
Multiple sclerosis (MS) drugs are extremely expensive. Learn ways to help pay for your MS medications, including patient assistance programs and other programs.

Solu-Medrol and Weight Gain
Solu-Medrol is a corticosteroid used to shorten the duration of MS relapses. One of the side effects of Solu-Medrol treatment can be weight gain.

Solu-Medrol Weight Gain Tips - Tips to Avoid Weight Gain on Solu-Medrol
Although Solu-Medrol given for multiple sclerosis relapses can have great results, it often comes with unwanted side effects, such as weight gain. Read how others cope with or avoid weight gain on Solu-Medrol, and leave a tip of your own.

How Is PML Diagnosed?
Diagnosing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) can be a challenge, especially in a person with multiple sclerosis (MS), as many symptoms of PML and MS are similar.

Testing for JC Virus Antibodies for Tysabri-Related PML Risk
A simple blood test is in development that could help doctors and people with MS know who was at higher risk for Tysabri-related PML.

The Tysabri Rebound Effect
The Tysabri rebound effect describes a phenomenon of an increased number of T2 lesions in people several months after stopping Tysabri treatment.

How I Taught Myself to Self-Inject
Many of the disease-modifying multiple sclerosis drugs are self-injected. Learning how to self-inject is challenging, but is done successfully by many people. Learn how to self-inject your MS medications here.See submissions

Taking a Drug Holiday - Stories About Drug Holidays and Tysabri
Doctors often recommend drug holidays, meaning stopping a particular medication for a period of time, to reduce risk of complications. This is common practice with Tysabri, as docs try to lower chances of PML. Share your "drug holiday" story here.

Q. What Does It Mean When a Research Result is "Statistically Significant"?
The term "statistical significance" basically means that a result was unlikely to happen by chance. It is a scientific way of comparing the results of a research trial or study.

What is a "Black Box Warning" for MS Drugs?
A "black box warning" on a medication contains information about serious risks and side effects of that drug. Of the drugs to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), Tysabri and Novantrone carry black box warnings. Learn what it means when a drug has a black box warning and how you can use this information when making treatment decisions.

Tysabri Drug Holidays
Because of the risk of PML, some docs encourage patients to take a a 6-month "drug holiday" from Tysabri infusions. This may lead to an increased risk of relapse.

Plasma Exchange (Plasmapheresis) for MS and Other Neurological Diseases
Plasma exchange, often referred to as plasmapheresis, is a treatment that involves replacing a person's plasma. It is done to remove harmful things, like autoimmune cells, medications or infectious agents, from the blood.

Self-Injecting Tips from People with MS - Tips and Advice on Self-Injecting
All of the older, first-line disease-modifying treatments (Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone and Rebif) for multiple sclerosis (MS) have to be injected at home. Although nobody finds self-injecting to be pleasant, many of us have ways to make the process go more smoothly. Learn self-injecting tips and tricks here, and share some of your own.

Symptoms of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML)
Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a rare, but very serious side effect of Tysabri (natalizumab), a MS disease-modifying therapy. Know the symptoms of PML if you or a loved one is being treated with Tysabri, so that you can act quickly to receive a prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment, if necessary.

Q. When is Plasma Exchange Recommended for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment?
Plasma exchange, often referred to as plasmapheresis is recommended for treating severe multiple sclerosis relapses that do not respond to Solu-Medrol. It is not recommended for secondary progressive or primary progressive MS.

Copaxone Immediate Post-Injection Reaction
Although Copaxone is known for having the fewest side effects of any of the disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS), there is an acute post-injection reaction that can be alarming. Although a fairly rare occurrence and considered "harmless," anyone taking Copaxone should be aware of this side effect.

Ginkgo Biloba to Help Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
Ginkgo biloba is an herb and popular supplement that some believe can help with multiple sclerosis symptoms, especially cognitive dysfunction. We take a look at the research around Ginkgo biloba and multiple sclerosis (MS) to learn what the science says. Find out if Ginkgo biloba looks like a good way to treat multiple sclerosis symptoms like cognitive dysfunction.

H1N1 (Swine Flu) and Seasonal Flu Vaccine and Multiple Sclerosis Drugs
There is much confusion around flu vaccines (seasonal and H1N1) and the possible interactions with medications for multiple sclerosis. Learn the current recommendations here.

Is Novantrone Right for You?
Novantrone (mitoxantrone) has been used since 2002 as a treatment for aggressive relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Learn about Novantrone for MS, including effectiveness, side effects, contraindications, cost and monitoring considerations.

Tysabri vs. Novantrone: Which One Is Right For You?
Novantrone (mitoxantrone) and Tysabri (natalizumab) are both used to treat aggressive forms of relapsing MS and occasionally secondary-progressive MS. However, Novantrone and Tysabri differ in terms of side effects, costs, access, lifestyle considerations, contraindications and mechanisms of action. Learn more to help you make an informed decision.

Adherence Tips for People with Multiple Sclerosis - People with MS Sh…
Most people with multiple sclerosis know how often they are supposed to take their medicines, yet many of us skip doses. We either forget or just get burned out some days on giving ourselves injections or dealing with side effects. Share your tips and learn from others on how to stay adherent to our multiple sclerosis drugs.

Solu-Medrol Tips from Readers – Side Effects from Solu-Medrol – M…
Solu-Medrol has many side effects (from acne to anxiety) and treatment with this drug can be stressful. Learn some tips from other people with MS on how to manage some of the side effects so that you can have a better experience.

Low Dose Naltrexone as a Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
There are thousands of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) using low-dose naltrexone (LDN) as an off-label treatment for MS-related symptoms and to halt disease progression. However, scientific evidence for LDN is sparse. Read more about low-dose naltrexone and multiple sclerosis.

Monitoring and Treating People After a Clinically Isolated Syndrome Episode
Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) The term “clinically isolated syndrome” (CIS) refers to an “attack” that has one or more symptoms resembling multiple sclerosis (optic neuritis, numbness and tingling, weakness) that lasts for at least 24 hours in someone who has not been diagnosed with MS. Learn about the recommendations for monitoring and treating people who have experienced a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS).

What is "off-label" use of drugs and is it legal?
Many drugs prescribed in the US are used "off-label," meaning that they are used for a purpose other than what they were originally approved for by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

When Is Solu-Medrol Used in Multiple Sclerosis?
Many of us with multiple sclerosis, especially relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), have experienced a course of Solu-Medrol, the high-dose intravenous corticosteroid used to lessen symptoms of relapses by bringing down inflammation in the central nervous system. In most cases it is a clear-cut case of when the doctor should prescribe Solu-Medrol, as...

Medications for Urinary Tract Infections That Can Worsen MS-Related Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common, and most disabling, symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Fatigue can be made worse by many medications, including antibiotics used to treat and prevent urinary tract infections. Learn about the side effects of these drugs and get tips for managing your fatigue.

High Blood Pressure Medications That Can Worsen MS-Related Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common, and most disabling, symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Fatigue can be made worse by many of the drugs prescribed for MS symptoms, including those for high blood pressure (hypertension) and glaucoma. Learn about the side effects of these drugs and get tips for managing your fatigue.

Some Medications Interfere With Contraceptives
Many people are unaware that some medications and herbal supplements may interfere with the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives, which include birth control pills, patches, rings and IUDs. Learn about your medications and make sure that your birth control can do its job.

Tremor Medications that Can Worsen MS-Related Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common and most disabling symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Fatigue can be worsened by many of the drugs prescribed for MS symptoms, including those for tremor. Learn about the side effects of these drugs, and get tips for managing your fatigue.

NSAIDs that Can Worsen MS-Related Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common and most disabling symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Fatigue can be worsened by many of the drugs people take for MS symptoms or other problems, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — even those that don't require prescriptions. Learn about the side effects of these drugs, and get tips for managing your fatigue.

Antihistamines Can Worsen MS-Related Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common and most disabling symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Fatigue can be made worse by many medications, including antihistamines taken for allergies or cold symptoms. Learn about the side effects of these drugs and get tips for managing your fatigue.

Bladder Dysfunction Medication That May Worsen MS-Related Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common, and most disabling, symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Fatigue can be made worse by many of the drugs prescribed for MS symptoms, including those for bladder dysfunction. Learn about the side effects of these drugs and get tips for managing your fatigue.

Treatment of MS-Related Headaches
Treatment for headaches in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) is often the same as for people without MS. Your doctor will need to take several factors into consideration before choosing a treatment for you, including probable cause of the headaches and potential side effects of the different treatments.

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Pain
Up to 80 percent of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience pain at some point. It is extremely important that your doctor has very specific information about your pain symptoms in order to figure out what is causing the pain and how it might be managed. Go to your doctor's appointment prepared by answering some of these questions.

Neutalizing Antibodies and Disease-Modifying Therapies for Multiple Sclerosis
In multiple sclerosis (MS), neutralizing antibodies are often produced by the immune system in response to interferon-based treatments for MS, including Avonex, Rebif and Betaseron. These antibodies can lessen the effects of the treatment.

Is The Tysabri 'Rebound Effect' Real?
A small 2006 Dutch study has shown that stopping Tysabri (natalizumab) after only a couple of infusions is correlated with a large increase in T2 lesions.

Immunosuppressants
Immunosuppressants are medications that suppress, block or weaken the body’s immune response.

Is Tysabri Right for You?
If you are considering Tysabri as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, you need to know the facts about Tysabri's side effects, efficacy, cost, contraindications, convenience and safety.

Is Copaxone Right for You?
If you are considering Copaxone as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, you need to know the facts about Copaxone's side effects, efficacy, cost, contraindications, convenience and more

Should I Get the Flu Shot if I Have MS?
The flu shot (influenza vaccine) is safe for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). It can prevent relapses and is generally recommended for people with MS, unless you are taking Tysabri or just received a large dose of Solu-Medrol. Learn more about the flu shot and MS.

Is Avonex Right for You?
If you are considering Avonex as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, you need to know the facts about Avonex's side effects, efficacy, cost, contraindications, convenience and more to help you make your decision. Learn more about Avonex and be an informed patient.

Is Rebif Right for You?
If you are considering Rebif as your multiple sclerosis disease-modifying therapy, you need to know the facts about Rebif side effects, efficacy, cost, contraindications, convenience and other practical matters to help you make your decision. Learn more about Rebif and be an informed patient.

Is Betaseron Right for You?
If you are considering Betaseron as your multiple sclerosis disease-modifying therapy, you need to know the facts on Betaseron side effects, efficacy, cost, contraindications, convenience and other practical matters to help you make your decision. Learn more about Betaseron and be an informed patient.

Adherence Tips for People with Multiple Sclerosis
Staying adherent to disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) can be difficult. It not only requires remembering to give an injection or schedule an infusion, it also means that you have to have the right mindset to keep to a medication schedule, even when side effects or other obstacles make it difficult. Learn some tips to help you stay adherent to your MS meds.

Prepare Your Veins for Infusions
While getting an intravenous line inserted is not the most pleasant experience, it can be made easier by trying a couple of these tips from readers.

Symmetrel as a Treatment for MS Fatigue
Symmetrel (amantadine) is commonly prescribed to treat fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). It has been shown to be clearly beneficial in people experiencing MS-related fatigue. Side effects are minimal, although many of them mimic or can exacerbate other MS symptoms.

Treatment of Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis
Fatigue is the most common MS symptom, but can be challenging to treat effectively, as it has many causes (including MS medications themselves).

Provigil as Treatment for MS Fatigue
Provigil (modafinil) is commonly prescribed to treat fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). It has been shown to be clearly beneficial in people experiencing MS-related fatigue. While Provigil is generally a safe drug, it has the potential to interact with many other medications, including lowering effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives.

I'm 70 and my doctor says I am too old for MS treatment. Is that true?
While age alone is not a factor in prescribing disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS), there may be other reasons that they are not appropriate, such as the type of MS you have. Learn more about decisions around MS treatments for older people.

Q. How long do I have to stop injecting Avonex before getting pregnant?
In most cases, disease-modifying therapies should not be taken by a woman who is trying to get pregnant. It is usually advised that women stop taking them for three months before beginning to try to get pregnant, although your neurologist may advise a shorter period of time.

Diagnosing and Treating Depression in MS Patients
Depression in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) is very common, yet often goes unrecognized and undiagnosed due to overlapping symptoms. It is important to seek treatment from a psychiatrist, preferably who has experience with MS patients, as depression can be treated with excellent results.

Solu-Medrol Treatment: Side Effects and Tips
Solu-Medrol has many side effects and treatment with this drug can be stressful. Solu-Medrol is a corticosteroid given to people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to shorten relapses. Learn some tips on how to manage some of the side effects so that you can have a better experience.

The Solu-Medrol Experience
Solu-Medrol is a corticosteroid given to people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to shorten relapses. Learn what to expect during your Solu-Medrol treatment.

Solu-Medrol and Acne
While acne is a fairly common side effect of Solu-Medrol, it is difficult to find information about this problem. Solu-Medrol is a corticosteroid given to people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to shorten relapses. Learn about Solu-Medrol and acne and how to manage this side effect.

Solu-Medrol and Anxiety
One of the most common side effects of Solu-Medrol is anxiety, which can range from mild to severe. Solu-Medrol is a corticosteroid given to people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to shorten relapses. Learn about Solu-Medrol anxiety and how to manage this side effect.

Multiple Sclerosis Treatments
Disease-modifying treatments are medications for multiple sclerosis that alter the course of MS by slowing the progression of the disease. Before choosing an MS treatment, you should review all the differences in the medications carefully.

Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) for Multiple Sclerosis
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is used in many neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). In some studies, IVIG has been shown to be effective for MS in preventing relapses in postpartum women, delaying onset of MS after clinically isolated syndrome and in primary progressive MS.

How Much Vitamin D is Safe to Take for People with Multiple Sclerosis?
Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) take supplemental vitamin D, often in large doses. It is important to know what safe dosages of vitamin D are.

Online Sites to Research Medications
It can be overwhelming to try to find information on the Internet. There are some reliable sources of information about medications on the Internet, as well as some places to find out about patients' experiences with different medications.

How To Get a Second Opinion for Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease to have, but also a difficult one to treat. Different doctors have different opinions on the best way to treat MS and MS symptoms. Getting a second opinion could open up a new set of possibilities and approaches that you had not considered, but may be right for you. Get some tips to make the second...

Is Gilenya Right for You?
Gilenya (fingolimod) is the first oral disease-modifying therapy for multiple sclerosis.

Needle Fatigue in People with Multiple Sclerosis

Your MS Doctor as a Partner in Health
"Shared decision making" describes a situation where patients and physicians work together to figure out what is the best course of treatment for the patient.

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