Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a potentially threatening disabling disease of the brain and the spinal cord. When a person suffers from MS, the immune system of the body attacks the myelin or the protective sheath covering the nerve fibers. This creates problems in communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
Symptoms can be widely varying and as serious as inability to walk without support. In some, there might be long period of remission too. There is no cure for MS as such and the problem has a strong tendency to relapse too. However, following are some of the common treatment options for MS that can reduce the symptoms and the associated pain suffered by the MS patients.
This is an oral medicinal treatment for MS that can reduce the relapse rate of the sclerosis attacks. The dosage is one pill a day. Once this medicine is taken, the doctor will typically monitor the heart rate and blood pressure of the patient for six hours to ensure that the heartbeats are not slowed. Long-term usage of the medication, though one of the common treatment options for MS, are shown to be causing side-effects such as headaches, high blood pressure and at times, blurred vision.
Dimethyl Fumarate (Tecfidera)
The dosage of this oral medicine is twice daily. It has been found to be quite effective in the treatment of the most relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. The drug requires monitoring of the patient’s blood tests on a regular basis. Among notable side-effects, there can be a reduction in the white blood cells count and a potential risk of catching other infections.
This is quite a common treatment options for MS. Intravenous methylprednisolone is prescribed for MS patients to reduce the inflammation of the nerves. Side effects might include increase in blood pressure levels and sugar levels and mood swings.
In this form of treatment for MS, the liquid portion of the blood, which is called the plasma, is removed and separated from the blood cells. The cells are then mixed with a protein solution or albumin and injected back into the body. This treatment is used in cases when the symptoms are new and more severe than earlier and when the patient has not responded to steroids.
Interferon Beta Medications
These are not just among the most common treatment options for MS but also among the frequently used drugs. They are injected into the muscle or under the skin and are primarily meant to reduce the severity and frequency of the relapses. The side-effects, which are not very common, include some flu-like symptoms and injection-site allergic reactions in some patients.
While these are some of the common treatment options for MS, it is always advisable to be in touch with the physician and report the symptoms as and when they appear or when there is a relapse.