Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis With Medication

By | April 25, 2016

Medicine is the conventional way many ms sufferers choose to treat MS. There have been developments in research that have shown some positive results. Trials of treatments with pharmaceuticals have also shown no prolonged remission of MS.

Some people do without medical therapy and do well. Reasons they resist this type of therapy are the potential for serious side effects, risk of taking them or the cost.

What if any are the risks and side effects?

In the past, the principle medications used were steroids possessing anti-inflammatory agents. These include; Adrenocorticotropic hormone, (also known as ACTH), prednisone, Prednisolone, Methyleprednisolone, Betamethasone and Dexamethasone. There are indications that people with movement problems benefit from steroids use more than those with sensory system problems. Steroids do not affect MS over time, but they may reduce the duration and severity of attacks. The side effects of steroids include, acne, weight gain, seizures and psychosis, therefore they are not recommended for long term use.

One area of multiple sclerosis research involves antiviral proteins, known as Interferons. Interferons are a group of immune system proteins, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. These are produced by different cells in the body. Three forms of Beta Interferons which are now used in the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS are Avonex, Betaseron, and Rebif. Common side effects are fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches, fatigue, depression, and injection site reaction.

Some therapies being investigated, which may still be considered experimental, are showing results that immuno suppressive agents can affect the course of MS. The toxic side effects can leave the patient open to a variety of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.

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Other studies include Novantrone which has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of chronic MS.

More therapies under consideration include cyclosporine (sandimmune), Cyclophosphamide (cytoxan), and Methotrexate Azathioprine (Imuran). More research is needed to assure that the risk and side effects to the multiple sclerosis patients are minimal.

Therapy to improve nerve impulse conduction, in ms patients, is being researched in small trials, using derivatives of a drug called Aminopyridine. Possible side effects included Paresthesias (tingling), dizziness, and seizures.

Copaxone, a synthetic based myelin was studied in trials and had few side effects and some ms patients showed some neurologic improvement.

While some research is done to find a cure for multiple sclerosis, several scientists try to treat the symptoms of MS. Spasticity can be treated with Lioresal, Zanaflex, Valium, Klonopin and Dantrium. Optic neuritis is treated with oral steroids and Solu-Medrol. Fatigue sufferers use antidepressants, Symmetrel and Pemoline. For pain, aspirin, acetaminophen, antidepressants and codeine are prescribed. Carbamazepine or other anticonvulsants are given for trigeminal neuralgia.

Multiple sclerosis patients do use some of these medications to help fight the disease. Many complain when more medications have to be prescribed to treat the symptoms or side affects. This often leads to more depression for the sufferer and their families. It is not always cost-effective for families that may have already lost some or most of their income.

The risk of prolonged treatment with most medications is not known, some of which have not been approved as of yet by the Federal Drug Administration.

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If you show any symptoms of multiple sclerosis, please consult your physician for a ms diagnosis and treatment.

Gilbert Lowe has been dealing with multiple sclerosis for more than 14 years. You can see how he manages Multiple Sclerosis at

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