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What medication is prescribed for multiple sclerosis that doesn't respond to common medications?

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In the most severe cases of MS that don't respond to medication, doctors may prescribe mitoxantrone (Novantrone) or alemtuzumab (Lemtrada). Both are chemotherapy drugs designed to treat cancer. They are used to treat certain types of MS by curbing the immune system to prevent it from attacking nerve coverings. Novantrone is used sparingly, though, because it has an FDA "black box" warning because of risks of heart damage and a type of leukemia.

From: Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis WebMD Medical Reference

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Disease Management Consensus Statement," "Fingolimod," "Novantrone (mitoxantrone),"  "Exacerbations,"  "FDA Approves Plegridy (Pegylated Interferon Beta) For Relapsing MS."

John Ratchford, MD, assistant professor of neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

NINDS: "Multiple Sclerosis Information Page."

Goldman, L.  , Saunders Elsevier, 2007. Cecil Medicine

FDA: "Safety Update on Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) Associated with Tysabri," "FDA approves new multiple sclerosis treatment Aubagio," "FDA investigating rare brain infection in patient taking Gilenya (fingolimod)."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on March 13, 2018

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Disease Management Consensus Statement," "Fingolimod," "Novantrone (mitoxantrone),"  "Exacerbations,"  "FDA Approves Plegridy (Pegylated Interferon Beta) For Relapsing MS."

John Ratchford, MD, assistant professor of neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

NINDS: "Multiple Sclerosis Information Page."

Goldman, L.  , Saunders Elsevier, 2007. Cecil Medicine

FDA: "Safety Update on Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) Associated with Tysabri," "FDA approves new multiple sclerosis treatment Aubagio," "FDA investigating rare brain infection in patient taking Gilenya (fingolimod)."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on March 13, 2018

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