The current medical goal of MS therapy is to help people stay active and able longer. While it seems more appropriate to find what causes MS and eliminate it, the current system is more interested in devising and selling drugs that merely removing some of the symptoms, and lessening the severity of others. We suggest this is wrong-headed thinking.
The main prescription treatments for MS are called disease-modifying agents because they affect many aspects of MS. The most “popular” prescription treatments for MS symptoms are:
- AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a)
- TYSABRI® (natalizumab)
- REBIF® (interferon beta-1a)
- BETASERON® (interferon beta-1b)
- COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection)
- NOVANTRONE® (mitoxantrone for injection concentrate)
They are administered by injection and have different dosing schedules.
Side effects from prescription treatments are unavoidable, and MS therapies are no exception. However, side effects vary from person to person. In addition, some people may be able to deal with certain side effects better than others may. If you are experiencing side effects, talk to your healthcare provider before stopping treatment. There may be ways to manage them or different treatment options for you.
Some of the most common side effects from MS treatment are injection-site reactions, rash, muscle pain or stiffness, fever, fatigue, headaches, chills, nausea, and vomiting.
Some Side Effects Related to Injectable MS Treatments
- Injection-site reactions (redness, irritation, infection)
- Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, and aches)
- Lipoatrophy (loss of fat cells that may cause a permanent dent at the injection site – this is not reversible)
- Necrosis (destruction and death of the tissue surrounding the sites of injection)
- Pain; including stomach, arms, legs, joints
- Depression and mood changes
- Hypersensitivity or allergic reaction
- Nausea or diarrhea
- Rash or mouth sores
With any drug, there is the potential for rare and serious side effects – not listed above.
The basic ideas about multiple sclerosis focus on the immune system. There is a long-standing disagreement between “experts” in the neurology field. One group insists that MS is “caused” by an underactive immune system while the other group believes that an over-active immune system is the culprit. If the medical establishment can’t even agree on what MS is, how can we expect them to agree on prevention or cures? The best the current system can do is look for drugs that MIGHT remove or lessen some of the symptoms.