Patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis have an immune system that is causing damage to their brain and spinal cord. This leads to problems with balance and motor function. It can also cause vision issues in affected patients. MS can significantly detract from a patient's quality of life, so prompt and effective treatment for the condition is essential.
The appropriate treatment for a given case of MS can vary significantly between patients. That's because the condition impacts each patient differently and some patients have a much more serious case than others.
Fortunately, numerous treatments have been developed for the condition. Most MS treatments focus on detracting from the immune system's ability to attack myelin in the patient's brain and spine. The following are six of the most commonly prescribed treatments for MS.
Treatment through beta interferons is the treatment that is most commonly prescribed to treat MS. This treatment is injected into a muscle. It functions by preventing relapses and making any relapses that occur less severe.
Though it is frequently prescribed, beta interferons treatment does entail numerous side effects. Some of these side effects can be severe. The most commonly seen side effects include flu-like symptoms or even liver damage. Patients are monitored for possible liver damage during treatment through liver enzyme monitoring.
Copaxone is an MS medication that is effective at stopping the immune system from attacking nerve myelin. Patients on this medication experience MS symptoms that are less frequent and less severe. MS patients who are prescribed copaxone injections must undergo injections numerous times each week. The dosage for this treatment can vary from between 20 mg and 40 mg.
Although there are a few side effects to copaxone treatment, these side effects are relatively minimal and they don't tend to last too long when they occur. The main side effect to copaxone is experiencing swelling or discomfort where the medication is injected.
This MS treatment consists of using a monoclonal antibody- Tysabri- to stop potentially damaging immune cells from moving through the bloodstream to get to the brain and spine. This treatment is what's known as a monotherapy. It is typically used in patients who are experiencing types of MS relapse like RRMS and SPMS relapse. This treatment does not need to be given as frequently as copaxone injections. Treatment using the Tysabri antibody only needs to be given once every four weeks.
There are a few noteworthy side effects patients report with Tysabri antibody treatment. Common side effects include headache, fatigue, muscle pain, and stomach pain. This type of MS treatment can make relapses less frequent.
Prednisone corticosteroid offers a short term treatment for MS patients. This treatment is used for patients who are experiencing an MS attack. The medication works by detracting from the immune system response so that nerve inflammation is minimized. Prednisone corticosteroid treatment is used when MS attacks are causing disability. The treatment is usually administered numerous times per day during treatment. The dosage amount can vary significantly between patients.
Patients undergoing this type of treatment are often asked by their doctors to keep careful track of their dosage amounts and responses to treatment. Patients sometimes experience side effects to prednisone corticosteroid treatment such as mood swings, increased blood pressure, and insomnia.
Lemtrada protein is an MS treatment designed to reduce relapse frequency. This medication reduces relapse frequency through the effectiveness of a particular protein. The lembtrada protein exists on immune cells and helps to minimize nerve damage caused by immune cells. The protein helps to weaken white blood cells that are creating problems for the brain and spine.
Treatment with lemtrada protein is frequently prescribed over a period of five days. Then, treatment stops. Therefore, the period over which treatment itself is administered is short.
When patients are undergoing treatment using lemtrada protein, they need to be carefully monitored. Doctors conduct drug safety monitoring to make sure that the treatment is effective and is not causing any significant adverse effects for the patient.
Tecfidera is an MS medication that is administered orally. It is designed to prevent relapses for MS patients. Tecfidera is frequently prescribed for administration twice per day. Oral Tecfidera offers the advantage of allowing patients to avoid painful injected for treatment.
Studies have shown that Tecfidera is highly effective in treatment MS. In fact, one study spanning a period of two years showed that the rates of MS in the research subjects were reduced by half.