Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder that impacts the central nervous system, deteriorating the function of nerves found in the brain and spinal cord. In patients with multiple sclerosis, the immune system that originally fights off infection and disease mistakenly attacks the healthy cells in the body, leading to gradual damage to the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord.
MS can cause symptoms such as vision issues, muscle frailty, difficulty walking or speaking, numbing and tingling sensations, and even bladder and bowel control problems. Despite a century’s worth of research, MS is still incurable. However, many treatment options are available to lower the risk of permanent disability. A variety of multiple sclerosis drug options can lessen the frequency and severity of relapses, and ultimately improve patients’ quality of life.
Types of Multiple Sclerosis Drug Options
Steroids. Steroids such as , , and may be prescribed to patients who experience severe and frequent MS attacks. Steroids work by decreasing the duration and severity of a relapse while simultaneously lessening inflammation. Steroids are only reserved for short-term use, however, as they can cause serious adverse effects such as trouble sleeping, headaches, high blood sugar, and even psychosis.
Disease-modifying medications. These drugs are used to lessen the severity and incidence rate of relapses. They can also impede the progression of the disease, and reduce the risk of disability.
The active substance in medications such as and Rebif is beta-1a. This man-made chemical mimics the function of a protein naturally produced in the body. While its action is not fully understood, beta-1a hinders the act of substances that incite the autoimmune reaction responsible for the inflammation and deterioration of neurons.
and Rebif are FDA-approved for the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). These two multiple sclerosis drug options aim to impede the progression of the disease in relation to disability and lower the frequency of attacks.
On the other hand, the active ingredient found in and Extavia is beta-1b, which is also a man-made version of a protein that is naturally present in the human body. beta-1b hinders the action of inflammatory substances such as interleukin-1 and interleukin 6. Both and Extavia are FDA-approved medications for the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS.
, available under the brand name , is another medication option available to patients with RRMS. This substance is a man-made version of a protein associated with the inflammation-causing response that MS triggers.
, available under the brand name Novantrone, works to decrease neurological degeneration and frequency of relapses in patients with secondary progressive, progressive relapsing, or advanced relapsing-remitting MS.
, available under the brand name , became the first FDA-approved oral drug to treat patients with relapsing-remitting MS.
Depending on a patient’s particular MS type and severity of their condition, doctors also prescribe medications such as alemtuzumab, peg beta-1a, and .
Featured Image: DepositPhotos/ SergIllinPosted on May 5, 2023