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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - Treatment Overview

Treatment can make living with multiple sclerosis (MS) easier. Your type of treatment will depend on how severe your symptoms are and whether your disease is active or in remission. You may get medicines, physical therapy, and other treatment at home.


Medicines are used to treat relapses, control the course of the disease (disease-modifying drugs or DMDs), or treat symptoms.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society recommends that people with a definite diagnosis of MS and who have active, relapsing disease start treatment with medicines. This group also recommends treatment with medicine after the first attack in some people who are at a high risk for MS.3

If you decide not to try medicines at this time, meet with your doctor regularly to check whether the disease is progressing.

Multiple Sclerosis: Should I Start Taking Medicines for MS?

Ongoing monitoring

You and your doctor will set up a schedule of periodic appointments to monitor and treat your symptoms and follow the progress of your MS. Monitoring your condition helps your doctor find out if you may need to try a different treatment.

Home treatment

Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nonmedical treatment done at home may also help you manage symptoms and adjust to living and working situations. To learn more, see Home Treatment.

End-of-life issues

In rare cases, MS is life-threatening. If your condition gets considerably worse, you may want to make a living will, which allows your wishes to be carried out if you are not able to make decisions for yourself. For more information, see the topic Care at the End of Life.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 15, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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