For example, a doctor may prescribe mitoxantrone at a later, more severe stage of MS. A doctor will monitor how well a drug is working, as there may be adverse effects, and the same drugs do not suit everyone. New drug options coming onto the market are proving to be safer and more effective than some existing ones. Adverse effects of immunosuppressant drugs include a higher risk of infections.
What is MS?
Some medications may also harm the liver. If a person notices adverse effects or if their symptoms get worse, they should seek medical advice. Other drugs are useful when a person experiences a worsening of symptoms, during a flare. They will not need these drugs all the time. Corticosteroids : These reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. They can treat an acute flare-up of symptoms in certain types of MS.
Examples include Solu-Medrol methylprednisolone and Deltasone prednisone. Steroids can have adverse effects if a person uses them too often, and they are not likely to provide any long-term benefit. Behavioral changes : If vision problems occur, a doctor may recommend resting the eyes from time to time or limiting screen time. A person with MS may need to learn to rest when fatigue sets in and to pace themselves so they can complete activities. Problems with mobility and balance : Physical therapy and walking devices, such as a cane, may help.
The drug dalfampridine Ampyra may also prove useful. Tremor : A person may use assistive devices or attach weights to the limbs to reduce shaking. Medications may also help with tremors. Fatigue : Getting enough rest and avoiding heat can help. Physical and occupational therapy can help teach people more comfortable ways to do things.
Assistive devices, such as a mobility scooter, can help conserve energy. Medication or counseling may help boost energy by improving sleep. Pain : A doctor may prescribe anticonvulsant or antispasmodic drugs or alcohol injections to relieve trigeminal neuralgia , a sharp pain that affects the face. Pain relief medication, such as gabapentin, may help with body pain. There are also medications to relieve muscle pain and cramping in MS. Bladder and bowel problems : Some medications and dietary changes can help resolve these.
Depression : A doctor may prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor SSRI , as these are less likely to cause fatigue than other antidepressant drugs. Various supplements are available for purchase online, including vitamin D and Omega-3 supplements. Some people use these, although scientists have not proven that they will help.
A person should not use supplements without first consulting their doctor. Studies have suggested that cannabis may help relieve pain, muscle stiffness, and insomnia. However, there is not enough evidence to confirm this.
A person should ask their doctor for advice before using cannabis, as some forms can have adverse effects. Smoking cannabis is unlikely to be beneficial, and it may make symptoms worse. Some people have suggested that biotin may help. Rehabilitation can help improve or maintain a person's ability to perform effectively at home and work.
Physical therapy : This aims to provide the skills to maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability.
What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Occupational therapy : The therapeutic use of work, self-care, and play may help maintain mental and physical function. Speech and swallowing therapy : A speech and language therapist will carry out specialized training for those who need it. Cognitive rehabilitation : This helps people manage specific problems in thinking and perception. Vocational rehabilitation : This helps a person whose life has changed with MS to make career plans, learn job skills, get and keep a job.
Plasma exchange involves withdrawing blood from the individual, removing the plasma, replacing it with new plasma, and transfusing it back into the person. This process removes the antibodies in the blood that are attacking parts of the person's body, but whether it can help people with MS is unclear. Studies have produced mixed results. Scientists are looking into the use of stem cell therapy to regenerate various body cells and restore function to those who have lost it due to a health condition.
Researchers hope that one day, stem cell therapy techniques may be able to reverse the damage done by MS and restore functionality in the nervous system. MS is a potentially severe health condition that affects the nervous system. Progression of MS is different for each person, so it is hard to predict what will happen, but most people will not experience severe disability. In recent years, scientists have made rapid progress in developing drugs and treatments for MS. Newer drugs are safer and more effective, and they offer significant hope for slowing disease progression.
As researchers learn more about genetic features and changes that occur with MS, there is also hope that they will be able to predict more easily which kind of MS a person will have and establish the most effective treatment from the earliest stage. A person who receives appropriate treatment and follows a healthful lifestyle can expect to live the same number of years as a person without MS. Article last updated by Yvette Brazier on Wed 29 May Visit our Multiple Sclerosis category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Multiple Sclerosis.
All references are available in the References tab. Complementary and alternative medicines. Cortese, M. Dietary intake of sodium and other minerals and the risk of multiple sclerosis [Abstract].
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Multiple sclerosis - symptoms, diagnosis, treatment - Southern Cross NZ
Reviewed by Nancy Hammond, MD. Table of contents What is MS?
If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Pain, weakness, and tingling are common symptoms of MS.
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Vision changes can be an early sign of MS. A doctor can help the individual find treatment to suit them.