5 Treatment Options for Multiple Sclerosis

5 Treatment Options for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a typically disabling spinal cord and brain disease. In this disease, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, which is a protective covering on the nerve fibers. Consequently, the patient experiences communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. In the long run, it can lead to nerve deterioration or permanent damage. So, what are the treatment options for MS? Let us find out.

1. Disease-modifying drugs
When a person suffers from relapsing-remitting MS, and the symptoms are acting up, the first line of treatment is a disease-modifying drug. These drugs can help slow down the disease progression and simultaneously prevent symptom flare-ups. Further, these medicines also restrict the immune system so that it does not attack the myelin. There are certain drugs that are injected into the muscle or skin. These injections can make your skin dimply, itchy, red, or sore.

2. Injectables

  • Interferon-beta medications: These are the most prevalently used medications to treat MS. They are injected to lower the severity and frequency of symptom relapse. However, it has a few side effects, such as injection site reactions and flu-like symptoms.
  • Glatiramer acetate: It can restrict the immune system’s attack on myelin. However, these produce side effects, such as skin irritation on the injection site.

3. Oral medications

  • Cladribine: This pill has to be consumed once every day for five days for the first month, followed by once a day for the second month. In some cases, another course may be needed in the same year. This medication is for active secondary progressive MS and relapsing-remitting MS. The medicine has side effects and must be taken only on an expert’s suggestions.
  • Dimethyl fumarate: It is a pill consumed two times a day. This can help reduce the immune cells. Following this, the doctor will perform regular blood tests to keep a check on the side effects.
  • Diroximel fumarate: This capsule should be consumed two times a day. It works similar to dimethyl fumarate but has fewer side effects. It is one of the treatment options for MS for relapsing forms.
  • Fingolimod: This medication can lower the relapse rate. Following the first dose, the heartbeat and blood pressure should be monitored for six hours as it can lower the heartbeat.
  • Teriflunomide: It is a medication taken once every day to lower the relapse rate.
  • Siponimod: It is a pill taken following a five-day build-up to the proper dose. Pregnant mothers should not take this pill.

4. Stem cell treatment
This type of treatment has proven to be promising in curing the neural damage following MS. In addition, stem cell therapy helps repair the central nervous system, which is damaged as an outcome of MS.

5. Infusions
MS patients can also opt for infusion therapy at a licensed clinic. In this, four therapies can be used:

  • mitoxantrone (Novantrone)
  • alemtuzumab (Lemtrada)
  • ocrelizumab (Ocrevus)
  • natalizumab (Tysabri)