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What You Should Know About Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

May 17, 2008
Multiple sclerosis is a complex disease that attacks the body's central nervous system. These can lead to a number of physical and neurological symptoms that can be debilitating and frightening to the patient. While there is not yet a cure, significant advances have been made in multiple sclerosis treatment. In this article, we'll explore a variety of treatments and help you decide which is best for you.

Before you speak to your doctor about multiple sclerosis treatment, prepare a list of questions beforehand and take notes about the responses. For each drug option, find out how effective it is, how it is administered and how often, and what the potential side effects are. Because MS is a chronic disease, you will need to use the medication for a long time. You should be comfortable with any multiple sclerosis therapy that you choose.

Researchers believe that damage to the brain and spinal cord may be happening early in the development stage, before the symptoms of multiple sclerosis occur. That's why it's important to start treatment as soon as possible.

Research has shown that the progression of physical disability can be slowed if you start treatment early. Some patients choose injected therapies for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. Avonex is an intramuscular injection given once a week.

This form of MS treatment is used for patients in remission to slow the accumulation of physical disability and decrease the frequency attacks. Depression or feelings of sadness are a common side effect of Avonex.

Rebif is another injectable treatment that is administered three times a week and includes a naturally occurring human protein. It has the same effect as Avonex. Other similar injected treatments include Betaseron and Copaxone.

Infusion therapies for symptoms of MS may be an option for patients who are having an inadequate response to their current treatment or are having issues with side effects. These medications are administered directly into the bloodstream through a vein to help stop inflammation and prevent further damage.

Ask your doctor or nurse if infusion therapy may be right for you, as well what the latest infusion therapies are, and what the most important information is that you should know. In addition to medication, you may also want to consider making lifestyle changes. Diet, exercise and other changes can help you manage multiple sclerosis symptoms.

If you've been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, then you should talk to your doctor about which multiple sclerosis treatment is right for you. Some of the most common side effects of drug therapy include fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches and tiredness.

For many people, these symptoms lessen or go away over time. Talk to your doctor if these symptoms continue longer than the first few months of therapy, or if they are difficult to manage.
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