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How is the drug azathioprine (Imuran) used off-label to help treat MS?

ANSWER

Doctors have prescribed this drug to treat MS for over 40 years. It can cut down on the number of relapses you get and keep your MS from getting worse. If you use it for more than 10 years or take more than 600 grams over your lifetime, it may raise your risk of cancer.

SOURCES:

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Non-approved treatments used for MS disease modification," "Amantadine," "Pain."

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada: "Common acne medication offers new treatment for multiple sclerosis."

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Current and emerging therapies in multiple sclerosis: a systematic review," "Ten Common Questions (and Their Answers) About Off-label Drug Use," "Azathioprine for multiple sclerosis," "Double-Blind Controlled Randomized Trial of Cyclophosphamide versus Methylprednisolone in Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis," "A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Duloxetine for Central Pain in Multiple Sclerosis," "Duloxetine is effective in treating depression in multiple sclerosis patients: an open-label multicenter study."

Biogen: "Avonex Medication Guide."

FDA: "Understanding Unapproved Use of Approved Drugs "Off Label"."

Journal of the American Medical Association : "Association of Off-label Drug Use and Adverse Drug Events in an Adult Population."

American Cancer Society: "Off-Label Drug Use."

Medscape: "Multiple Sclerosis Medication," "Cladribine Back in the Running for Multiple Sclerosis," "Cladribine ( ) for MS Approved in Europe." Mavenclad

Cleveland Clinic: "Azathioprine and Multiple Sclerosis."

Multiple Sclerosis Trust: "Cyclophosphamide (Endoxana)," "Modafinil (Provigil)," "Pregabalin (Lyrica)."

Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center: "Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)."

Tisch MS Research Center of New York: "Safety of Long-term Intrathecal Methotrexate Therapy in Progressive Forms of Multiple Sclerosis."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 30, 2019

SOURCES:

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Non-approved treatments used for MS disease modification," "Amantadine," "Pain."

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada: "Common acne medication offers new treatment for multiple sclerosis."

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Current and emerging therapies in multiple sclerosis: a systematic review," "Ten Common Questions (and Their Answers) About Off-label Drug Use," "Azathioprine for multiple sclerosis," "Double-Blind Controlled Randomized Trial of Cyclophosphamide versus Methylprednisolone in Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis," "A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Duloxetine for Central Pain in Multiple Sclerosis," "Duloxetine is effective in treating depression in multiple sclerosis patients: an open-label multicenter study."

Biogen: "Avonex Medication Guide."

FDA: "Understanding Unapproved Use of Approved Drugs "Off Label"."

Journal of the American Medical Association : "Association of Off-label Drug Use and Adverse Drug Events in an Adult Population."

American Cancer Society: "Off-Label Drug Use."

Medscape: "Multiple Sclerosis Medication," "Cladribine Back in the Running for Multiple Sclerosis," "Cladribine ( ) for MS Approved in Europe." Mavenclad

Cleveland Clinic: "Azathioprine and Multiple Sclerosis."

Multiple Sclerosis Trust: "Cyclophosphamide (Endoxana)," "Modafinil (Provigil)," "Pregabalin (Lyrica)."

Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center: "Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)."

Tisch MS Research Center of New York: "Safety of Long-term Intrathecal Methotrexate Therapy in Progressive Forms of Multiple Sclerosis."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 30, 2019

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