Unfortunately, it is not possible to cure multiple sclerosis. The treatment for multiple sclerosis focuses on managing the symptoms of the disease, helping in recovery and preventing MS from spreading. In some people with multiple sclerosis, the symptoms are so mild that treatment is not at all required.
Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis Attacks
Nerve inflammation associated with multiple sclerosis can be reduced by the use of Corticosteroids including intravenous methylprednisolone and oral prednisone. However, it may lead to some side effects such as increased blood pressure, insomnia, fluid retention and mood swings.
Plasma Exchange or Plasmapheresis
In this method, plasma is carefully separated from the blood cells. Now, a protein solution called Albumin is added to the blood cells and is injected back into the body. This method is particularly useful in case of severe symptoms of multiple sclerosis that cannot be treated with steroids.
Treatments to Modify Progression of Multiple Sclerosis
Researchers are still trying to find out a therapy for treating primary-progressive multiple sclerosis. However, some therapies are available for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The best results can be obtained if the treatment for MS is started early. Some treatment options for multiple sclerosis are very useful in slowing down the rate of relapse and also restrict the formation of new lesions.
There is always a risk of few side-effects with the therapies used for treating multiple sclerosis. Thus, you need to take into account several factors such as severity and duration of disease, cost, health issues etc while selecting a suitable therapy.
The various treatment options for multiple sclerosis are as follows:
Most of the experts and doctors prescribe beta interferons as the most preferred option for treating multiple sclerosis or MS. They are very effective is controlling the severity and occurrence of the relapses. Its common side effects include reactions at the site of the injection, flu etc. Also, there is a risk of damage to liver. Thus, doctors carry out blood checkup regularly to monitor any degradation in liver.
Glatiramer Acetate or Copaxone
This medication prevents your immune system from responding against myelin. It can lead to some side effects such as irritation in skin at the site of injection.
Dimethyl Fumarate or Tecfidera
This medication is effective in reducing relapses of multiple sclerosis. It can lead to some side effects including flushing, nausea, diarrhea and loss of white blood cell count.
Fingolimod or Gilenya
It is another commonly used treatment for reducing relapse rate of multiple sclerosis or MS. However, it can slow down the heart rate in case of some people. Thus, doctors monitor the heart rate of the patients for the first six hours to make sure that it is suitable. It can also lead to some other side effects such as blurred vision, high blood pressure and headache.
Teriflunomide or Aubagio
It can be used effectively for controlling relapse rate of multiple sclerosis. However, it can cause various side effects such as hair loss and liver damage. It must be strongly avoided in case of women who plan to become pregnant as it can harm the development of fetus.
Natalizumab or Tysabri
This medication is helpful in preventing potentially damaging immune cells from moving into your spinal cord or brain from the blood stream. It is the most preferred option for treating severe case of multiple sclerosis or MS. In other cases, it may be used as a second option.
Alemtuzumab or Lemtrada
This medication for multiple sclerosis or MS targets the protein that is responsible for depleting blood cells and thus reducing relapse rate. However, it can increase the risk of autoimmune disorders and infections. The course of alemtuzumab treatment involves a course of 5 days. It is then followed by another three day course after a year. This drug is not commonly available at every medical store but with the registers providers only. Also, a person must be registered in the special drug safety program to obtain this drug from the store.
This is one of the least preferred options for treating multiple sclerosis or MS as it can lead to severe side effects. Some common side effects associated with the use of this drug include blood cancers and heart disorders.
Treatment Options for Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
Physical Therapy (PT) for Treating Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Physical Therapy. In addition to medications, there are a few physical exercises that can help in treating multiple sclerosis. There are special therapists to teach patients about the set of exercises and use of devices to accomplish body movements that are helpful in treating MS. This therapy is particularly useful in managing the weakness of legs.
Muscle Relaxants to Treat Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
One of the common symptoms of MS is the stiffness in muscles. Muscle relaxants such as tizanidine (Zanaflex) and baclofen (Lioresal) are very useful in managing spasms and stiffness in legs.
Other medications. Some other medications are also available to control the side effects such as sexual dysfunction, pain and depression caused by multiple sclerosis.
Alternative Medicine to Treat Multiple Sclerosis
Some people also prefer complimentary treatment options to control the symptoms of muscle pain and fatigue caused by multiple sclerosis. Healthy lifestyle and activities such as massage, yoga, meditation, exercise, body relaxation techniques etc… can be very helpful in boosting the mental and physical wellness of person who is suffering from multiple sclerosis. They also help in controlling the side effects of the treatments.
American Academy of Neurology allows the use of cannabis extracts to manage muscle spasms in particular. However, it is not recommended to be used for managing other symptoms as there are no evidences to prove that it is effective. Also, the use of herbal supplements including bee venom and Ginkyo biloba are not recommended for controlling symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
List of Medications to Treat Multiple Sclerosis
- Prednisone oral
- Baclofen oral
- Methylprednisolone oral
- Zanaflex oral
- Tizanidine oral
- Kenalog injection
- Copaxone subcutaneous
- Tysabri intravenous
- Tecfidera oral
- Ampyra oral
- Amantadine HCl oral
- Medrol oral
- Medrol oral
- Rebif subcutaneous
- Gilenya oral
- Dexamethasone oral
- Depo Medrol injection
- Avonex intramuscular
- Betaseron subcutaneous
- Prednisolone oral
- Cyproheptadine oral
- DexPak thirteen Day oral
- Hydrocortisone oral
- Solu Medrol intravenous
- Cortef oral
- Deltasone oral
- Plegridy subcutaneous
- Triamcinolone acetonide injection
- Cortisone oral
- Aubagio oral
- Methylprednisolone acetate injection
- Baclofen intrathecal
- Celestone Soluspan injection
- Prednisone Intensol oral
- cyclophosphamide oral
- dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection
- Orapred ODT oral
- Acthar H.P. injection
- Sodium phosphate injection and betamethasone acetate
- Natalizumab intravenous
- Cyclophosphamide intravenous
- Glatopa subcutaneous
- Interferon beta-1b subcutaneous
- Glatiramer subcutaneous
- Veripred 20 oral
- Dantrolene oral
- Solu-Medrol injection (PF)
- Dexamethasone Intensol oral
- Solu-Medrol intravenous (PF)
- Rebif Rebidose subcutaneous
- methylprednisolone sodium succ intravenous
- Methylprednisolone sodium succ injection
- Extavia subcutaneous
- DexPak ten day oral
- Rayos oral
- interferon beta-1a intramuscular
- Solu Cortef injection
- prednisolone sodium phosphate oral
- Rebif Titration Pack subcutaneous
- Pediapred oral
- Millipred oral
- Fingolimod oral
- Dalfampridine oral
- Teriflunomide oral
- Hydrocortisone sodium succinate injection
- Mitoxantrone intravenous
- Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection (PF)
- DexPak six Day oral
- Methylprednisolone sod succ intravenous (PF)
- Dimethyl fumarate oral
- Lioresal intrathecal
- Lemtrada intravenous
- Corticotropin injection
- A-Hydrocort injection
- Dantrium oral
- Alemtuzumab intravenous
- Methylprednisolone sod succ injection (PF)
- Millipred DP oral
- Hydrocortisone sod succinate injection (PF)
- Avonex intramuscular (with albumin)
- Interferon beta-1a subcutaneous (albumin)
- Solu-Cortef injection (PF)
- Dexamethasone in 0.9 % sodium chloride intravenous
- Gablofen intrathecal
- peginterferon beta-1a subcutaneous
- Pro-C-Dure five injection
- Interferon beta-1a (albumin) intramuscular
- Pro-C-Dure six injection
- DoubleDex injection
- Beta-1 injection
- Active Injection Kit D injection
- Zinbryta subcutaneous
- Daclizumab subcutaneous.
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