Being diagnosed with MS can bring about mixed feelings. Of course, you're not happy to learn that you have a chronic nerve condition. At the same time, it can be a relief to finally have an explanation for the symptoms you've been experiencing. Your next step, after diagnosis, will be to work with your neurologist to find a treatment or combination of treatments that help keep your symptoms under control and delay the progression of your MS. Here are a few of the top treatments that may be recommended.
Fingolimod is an immune-modulating medication. In other words, it helps curb over-activity in the immune system. This works well for managing MS since the disease is largely caused by the immune system attacking the myelin sheath that covers your nerves. Fingolimod can help cut a flare-up of MS symptoms short, and it can also help prevent flare-ups in the future. Your neurologist will likely recommend taking this medication once a day with food. It can cause an irregular heartbeat, dizziness, or tiredness, but often these side effects dissipate after a couple of weeks of use.
This is a newer MS treatment that was approved by the FDA in 2019. It is also an immune-modulator, but it works in a somewhat different way than Fingolimod. Patients for whom Fingolimod is ineffective, and those who have ongoing side effects from Fingolimod, often find that Diroximel Fumarate better manages their symptoms. Most neurologists have their patients start out on a low dose and then gradually increase the dose. This approach helps keep side effects to a minimum. Diroximel Fumarate may not be safe for people with certain liver or kidney diseases. Side effects may include flushing of the skin and stomach pain.
Interferon Beta-1a is an injectable medication that your neurologist can administer once a month for the management of MS. Like the medications above, it won't cure your MS, but it will help ease flare-ups and reduce their frequency. Not only does Interferon-1a help regulate the immune system, but it also directly helps reduce inflammation, which can give patients a lot of relief. Some patients find it a hassle to have the medication injected, but others like that this means they don't need to take a pill every day.
Which treatment your neurologist recommends will depend on your health history and the severity of your MS. Do not be afraid to ask your neurologist to tell you more about the medication they prescribe.
To learn more, contact a clinic like North Texas Neuroscience Center PA.