Skip to content

    Multiple Sclerosis Health Center

    Select An Article

    How Multiple Sclerosis Is Treated

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Now that you finally have a name -- multiple sclerosis -- to match the symptoms that have been plaguing you, you've probably got a lot of questions about how to treat those symptoms and keep your condition from getting worse. Although researchers haven't yet discovered a cure for MS, there are many effective medications to help manage your disease. Your doctor will work closely with you to find the treatment that works best for you and causes the fewest side effects.

    Here is a rundown of your MS treatment options.

    Recommended Related to Multiple Sclerosis

    Jamie-Lynn Sigler Opens Up About Life With MS

    Early one evening in 2002, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, then 21, walked into her New York City apartment after filming an episode of the HBO series The Sopranos. (She played Meadow, daughter of Mafia boss Tony Soprano, portrayed by the late James Gandolfini.) Planning to perform at an event that night, she was home to get ready. Soon after stepping into the shower, she noticed a heaviness in her leg. "It was that feeling right before you get pins and needles -- that weird tingling, like your legs are asleep,"...

    Read the Jamie-Lynn Sigler Opens Up About Life With MS article > >

    Changing the Course of Your MS: The Disease-Modifying Drugs

    If you have active relapsing-remitting MS, your doctor will first treat you with one of the disease-modifying drugs. They're called disease-modifying drugs because they can actually slow down the progression of MS and prevent relapses. These drugs work by suppressing the immune system so that it doesn't attack the protective coating (myelin) surrounding the nerves.

    Disease-modifying drugs that reduce the number of exacerbations include:

    Disease-modifying drugs that have been shown to reduce exacerbations and slow the progression of MS include:

    The interferon drugs and Copaxone are considered to be very safe. Most of the side effects that do occur stem from the injection itself, including redness, warmth, itching, or dimpling of the skin over the injection site. With the interferon drugs, it's common to have flu-like symptoms -- aches, fatigue, fever, and chills -- but these should fade within a few months. The interferon drugs can also slightly increase your risk for real infections by lowering the number of white blood cells that help your immune system fight off illnesses.

    There are three oral drugs available to treat the relapsing form of MS. Aubagio is a once-a-day tablet. The most common side effects of Aubagio include diarrhea, abnormal liver tests, nausea, and hair loss. However, Aubagio does carry a “black box” warning -- the FDA’s most serious warning -- because of liver problems and birth defects. Doctors should periodically do liver function testing in those on the drug. The medication should not be taken by pregnant women.

    1 | 2 | 3
    Next Article:

    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