Treatment options for different phases and stages of multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a condition that weakens your body as the immune system damages the protective covering of the nerves. Even though multiple sclerosis is beyond cure at the moment, there are a variety of treatment options for multiple sclerosis that can modify the progress of the condition or, in the best case, stop the progress. Multiples sclerosis can cause different symptoms like vision loss, body pain, fatigue, and impaired coordination. Let us look at some of the different treatment options for multiple sclerosis.

Treatment for MS attacks

  • Corticosteroids: These include an oral prednisone and intravenous methylprednisolone are prescribed so that nerve inflammation can be reduced. The side effects along with this inflammation include increased blood pressure, mood swings, and fluid retention.
  • Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis): The portion in the blood that gives it the liquid form, the plasma, is removed and separated from your blood cells. These blood cells are then mixed with a protein solution, albumin, and are then reinserted into the body. Plasma exchange, as a treatment option for multiple sclerosis, is used if the symptoms are new, severe, and aren’t affected by steroids.

Treatment to modify progression
If you are exposed to primary-progressive multiple sclerosis, then ocrelizumab is the only modifying medication that is approved by the FDA.

Treatment options for relapsing multiple sclerosis include

  • Beta interferons: These medications are one of the most common medicines that are prescribed to treat multiple sclerosis. The purpose is to reduce the severity and frequency of the relapse; these are injected under the skin into the muscle. The side effects include flu-like symptoms and injection-site reactions.
  • Ocrelizumab: This is a humanized immunoglobulin antibody medication and is the only DMT that has been approved by the FDA to treat both, the relapse-remitting and primary-progressive form. Trials in clinics have shown that they have reduced the relapse rate and have also slowed down the worsening of the disability. This is given to a multiple sclerosis patient through an intravenous infusion by a medical professional. Side effects for this treatment option for multiple sclerosis include low blood pressure, nausea, and vomiting among others.
  • Glatiramer acetate: This type of medication helps in blocking your immune system’s attack on myelin and is injected beneath the skin. Side effects are mild and limited to irritation at the injection site.
  • Teriflunomide: This medication is a once-daily medication and can reduce the relapse rate significantly. Along with being a treatment option for multiple sclerosis, teriflunomide can cause liver damage, hair loss and some other side effects. The medication is highly harmful to a developing fetus; pregnant women are advised to keep away from it.
  • Natalizumab: The main motive of this medication is to block any movement of damaging immune cells to your brain and spinal cord. These immune cells usually travel from the bloodstream to the brain and spinal cord. It is one of the first line treatment options for multiple sclerosis and a second line treatment for a few other conditions.