When It Comes to Relapsing MS Treatment—You Want the Right Fit
By: Nurse Kim
Living with MS is a challenge, and finding the right treatment can be challenging as well. One of the best ways to see which relapsing MS treatments may be the right fit for you is to learn as much as possible about the risks and benefits of each treatment. Knowing which questions to ask your healthcare provider is key and there are different steps you can take once you have the answers you need about the treatments you’re considering.
Weighing the benefits
Different relapsing MS treatments come with different benefits. Make sure you get the facts so you can see which treatments are viable options for you. Here are some things you may want to ask your healthcare team:
How effective is this treatment?
Ask about how the treatment was studied and what the study results were, so you can see if the treatment aligns with your goals, like reducing relapses, slowing disability progression, and lessening the chances of new or growing lesions.
How is this treatment thought to work in the body?
Ask about the effect the treatment has on the body. Some treatments affect your immune system differently than others.
What’s the dosing schedule like?
Ask about how the treatment is taken because there are plenty of options that can fit into your lifestyle. Some medications are taken daily, while others are taken annually, monthly, weekly, or even less.
Weighing the risks
When considering switching treatments, you and your healthcare provider should always have an in-depth discussion about risks. Here are some questions you may want to ask during that discussion:
What side effects are associated with this medication?
Ask if the medication comes with side effects and what steps can be taken to manage them.
What is the risk profile of this medication?
Ask if there are any serious side effects associated with the treatment and your likelihood of experiencing them and how they could be managed.
Does this treatment come with monitoring?
Ask if there are any monitoring requirements for the treatment you’re considering, based on the risks. If so, ask what they are.
The right relapsing MS treatment for you is out there
Take a moment to think about your current relapsing MS treatment and the reasons why you chose it. Now, think about how you’re doing today. Whether you’re new to treatment or ready to make a switch, it’s important to ask yourself these questions and consider your options. If you’re looking into treatments, here are some next steps:
Do your research
Start by looking at what options are available by downloading the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's brochure "Disease-Modifying Therapies for MS" on their website. You may want to check out some Sanofi Genzyme relapsing MS treatment options here as well.
Talk to your healthcare team
After doing your research and eliminating relapsing MS treatments that aren’t ideal for you, think about which ones offer you the benefits to be successful in managing relapsing MS. Then make an appointment with your neurologist and communicate with confidence. Talk about your findings and ask what he or she thinks might be the best option. You never know—your neurologist may have a relapsing MS treatment option in mind that you weren’t even thinking about!
If you’re not sure how to start a conversation about switching treatments, you may find this Doctor Discussion Guide helpful in explaining how you’re feeling and what symptoms you’re experiencing. If you’ve already had this conversation with your healthcare team, do you have any tips for someone who’s looking to switch treatments? Share them in the comments section below.
- Finding the right relapsing MS treatment can be confusing, but it can be done after considering the risks and benefits.
- Ask your healthcare provider about effectiveness, dosing, safety, and monitoring when you’re looking at different treatment options.
- If you decide it’s time to switch treatments, do your research and share your thoughts and knowledge with your healthcare provider.