Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Treatments and Therapies
If you've been diagnosed with MS, it's important to find and begin MS therapy as soon as possible to slow the progression of the disease. Some research shows that people who start treatment early have better outcomes.
Topics on this page:
- Diagnosing MS
- Getting to Know MS Treatments and Therapies
- Why Go on an MS Therapy?
- Choosing an MS Therapy
Diagnosing MS is rarely as simple as a yes or no. It can take months, even years, and it's possible that you may feel perfectly fine during much of that time.
When your doctor first diagnoses you with MS, it can be overwhelming. You and your loved ones will probably have a million different questions, most of which will probably hit you in the hours and days after the diagnosis and not while you are sitting in the doctor's office. That's OK. Speak to a nurse about your next steps or call your doctor's office and request a follow-up appointment after you've had a chance to digest the information.
Taking a proactive approach to managing your disease is important, because everyone's MS is unique. Do your own research about MS and treatment options and bring a list of questions to your follow-up appointment. Ask a spouse, relative, or friend to come along. Your advocate can help you ask your questions and take notes.
When you are diagnosed, you'll find that there are several effective treatments approved by the FDA that can help most people manage their MS. It's important to start treatment once you and your doctor decide which therapy is right for you. Also, once you begin your therapy, it's very important to stay with it to get the best results.
- It may slow disability progression
- It may reduce the frequency and severity of relapses
- It may reduce the development of new brain lesions as seen on an MRI*
*The exact correlation between MRI findings and the current or future clinical status of patients, including disability progression, is unknown.
A number of treatment options are available, but it can be overwhelming to try to choose one. You and your doctor can determine the best treatment for you based on a therapy's specific benefits, any side effects that may accompany it, and when and how you need to take it. And remember, if you are already on a treatment, it is important to re-evaluate your treatment periodically with your doctor to make sure it is still right for you. If you find that it is difficult for you to stay on the therapy you've chosen as directed, don't be afraid to tell your doctor. There are things he or she can do to help.
If you and your doctor select a treatment made by Genzyme, your MS One to One Nurse can help get you started on your prescribed therapy, answer your questions, and even track your insurance paperwork.