Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Multiple Sclerosis Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

What Are the Side Effects of MS Treatments?

Do-It-Yourself Shots continued...

It can also make you have chest pain, a racing heart, or shortness of breath, but it's not likely. This reaction is rare and if it happens, it’s usually only once or twice. It doesn't seem to be dangerous, but it can be frightening if you don't expect it.

Let your doctor know if it happens. He'll check to make sure the medicine is still OK for you.

Most side effects of injectable drugs go away after a few months, but tell your doctor if they bother you. He may be able to suggest a different drug.

Through Your Vein

You can also get your MS medicine into your system through an IV inserted into your vein. The IV might irritate your skin and cause redness around the needle, but you don’t have to get them very often.

One of the medicines doctors can drip into your system via an IV helps reduce the inflammation of MS. It's called natalizumab (Tysabri). It might give you a headache and some joint pain. It can make you tired, but the fatigue tends to get better on its own. It’s okay to take over-the-counter medicines for pain.

If you have a common and otherwise harmless virus, called the JC virus, this drug can trigger a dangerous brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). "We deal with that risk by testing patients regularly for the virus," Leist says. "As long as they don't have the virus, they can't get PML."

Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) is another IV drug you can use to treat relapsing forms of MS. If you take this, you might have more side effects -- including rash, nausea, fatigue, and pain -- than with other MS medicines. You’re more likely to get infections and immune system problems. Because of these safety issues, doctors will have you try at least two other medications before this.

Take Your Pills

Some MS drugs come as pills. You can’t take them if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. “They get through the placenta early in a pregnancy and can affect a baby's organ growth,” Leist says. Other side effects include diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea.

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
woman applying lotion
Ideas on how to boost your mood and self-esteem.
 
woman pondering
Get personalized treatment options.
man with hand over eye
Be on the lookout for these symptoms.
 
brain scan
ARTICLE
worried woman
ARTICLE
 
neural fiber
ARTICLE
white blood cells
VIDEO
 
sunlight in hands
ARTICLE
marijuana plant
ARTICLE
 
muscle spasm
ARTICLE
Neuron
ARTICLE