Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

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Treatment depends on the type of MS you have as well as the symptoms you are experiencing. There are different drugs that are used for treating and preventing attacks.

TREATING ATTACKS

If you have an MS attack, your doctor can give you medication called steroids. These steroids reduce the body's autoimmune response to shorten the length of an attack. These steroids are different from the steroids some athletes take to build muscles.

PREVENTING ATTACKS

To prevent attacks, there are drugs available for people who have the relapsing-remitting (meaning people can have flare-ups, then get better and then relapse thereafter) type of MS. These drugs are called "disease-modifying therapy“. It decreases the chance of having MS attacks, but it doesn’t cure the disease. Some of these drugs need to be injected. The newer MS drugs are pills or capsules that you can swallow. Some are given through a thin tube that goes into your vein. There are different regimes in giving these drugs. Most, however, only need to be given every few weeks or months. Some of these drugs might also reduce the chance that MS attacks will turn into progressive MS (this means the symptoms steadily get worse and attacks come and go). Talk to your doctor about which medicine will be best for you.

SLOWING DOWN PROGRESSIVE MS

Medication can be used to help slow down the progressive kind of MS. It doesn't necessarily cure the disease, but it does buy time. Medication can also help in the relapsing-remitting MS as well as the primary progressive MS (the kind that steadily gets worse from the beginning). An example of this kind of medication is ocrelizumab.

Your doctor can also treat symptoms of MS. It's important to tell your doctor about your symptoms -  even if you do not think they have anything to do with MS. For example, if you feel depressed, leak urine, or have sexual problems, let your doctor know. There is treatment available to help you with almost every symptom, but it is up to you to report it.

MS is a chronic disease. As of yet, there is no cure. With treatment you can live a relatively normal life. Take your medication as prescribed and if you experience a side effect, let your doctor know. Don’t take breaks from your treatment and monitor all your symptoms.

 

Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

Reference:Myhr KM. Diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis. Acta Neurol Scand Suppl. 2008;188:12-21


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