Medication for MS

Multiple Sclerosis Disease Modifying Medications in order of effectiveness

Click name of drug to see a video:

  

 Copaxone (Glatiramer Acetate) *Comes in Generic, Injections 3 times a week, 29% effective at preventing attacks. 

-Copaxone Side Effects: Some patients report a short-term reaction right after or within minutes after injection.

-How Copaxone works: interacts with those elements within the immune process that are believed to be responsible for multiple sclerosis. It is thought to work for people with MS by regulating their immune system so as to reduce and possibly counteract the immune damage occurring in MS.

 
 

AUBAGIO (teriflunomide), 1 pill a day 31% effective. 

-Aubagio Side Effects: Reduced white blood cell count, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, allergic reactions, including serious skin problems, breathing problems (new or worsening), high blood pressure, patients with low white blood cell count should not receive certain vaccinations during treatment and 6 months after. 

- How it AUBAGIO works: blocks an enzyme called DHODH that these overactive cells need to keep multiplying at their overactive rate. 

 
 

Avonex, Beta Seron, Extavia, Plegridy, Ribiff (Interferon), Injections, 33%, 34%, 34%, 36%, 33% effective respectively. 

-Interferon Side Effects: The most common side effect is Flu-like symptoms. Others include injection site reactions, trouble with your mood. Serious side effects are rare but include Behavioral health problems, suicidal thoughts, serious liver problems, digestion problems, bleeding, respiratory trouble, and skin reactions. 

-How Interferons work: are natural substances produced by the body to help it fight against attacks such as infections caused by viruses. The exact way that they work in MS is not yet known but interferons seem to calm the immune system down, and prevents relapses of MS. 

 
 

Mayzent (Siponimod) Oral medication 55% effective in preventing disease activity and prevents disability progression in SPMS by 29%.

- Mayzent Side Effects: headache, hypertension, swelling, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea.

-How it works: By binding to the 

 
 

Mavenclad (Cladrabine) 58% effective Mavenclad is taken by mouth in two treatment courses, twelve months apart.

-Side Effects: Potential safety issues identified by the FDA include decrease in white blood cells, and increased risk of infections and liver injury. The most common adverse reactions reported during clinical trials included upper respiratory tract infections, headache, and low white blood counts.

-How it works: Mavenclad is a compound that targets certain types of white blood cells (lymphocytes) that drive the immune attack in MS. It temporarily reduces the number of both T and B lymphocytes without continuous suppression of the immune system.

 
 

 
 

Gilenya (fingolimod), 1 pill a day, 54% effective. 

-Gilenyia Side Effects: Headache, tired feeling, influenza, stuffy nose, sinus pain, diarrhea, back pain, liver transaminase elevations, and cough. Rare serous effects include PML, macular edema, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, respiratory effects, liver injury, fetal Risk, increased blood pressure, cutaneous malignancies, and Immune system effects following GILENYA discontinuation. 

-How Gilenya works: It binds to the surface of white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the blood, and these cells are then trapped in the lymph glands, which prevents the lymphocytes from crossing into the central nervous system and causing inflammation and damage.

 
 

Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), Series of infusions, 55% effective.

-Lemtrada Side Effects: Rash, headache, fever, runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion, nausea, urinary tract infection, fatigue, insomnia, upper respiratory tract infection, herpes viral infection, hives, itching, thyroid gland disorders, fungal infection, joint pain, pain in extremity, back pain, diarrhea, sinus infection, mouth and throat pain, numbness or tingling, dizziness, abdominal pain, flushing of the face/neck/chest, vomiting, cough, chills, changes in sense of taste, flu symptoms, skin swelling, indigestion, blood in the urine, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, anxiety, weakness, or muscle pain. Serious side effects include serious autoimmune problems, Immune thrombocytopenia, kidney problems, serious infusion reactions, may increase your chance of getting some kinds of cancers, low blood counts, serious infections, lung and gallbladder.

-How Lemtrada works: It works by binding to and killing immune cells (lymphocytes or white blood cells) which are involved when the immune system attacks myelin. It is thought that the immune cells which grow back after treatment do not cause damage to nerves. 

 
 

Navantrone (Mitoxantrone),Infusions (max 4), 66% effective.

-Navantrone Side Effects: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, or unusual tiredness may occur. 

-How Navantrone works: It works by suppressing the immune system to lessen its attack on the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves. It can slow increases in disability and reduce the relapse rate in people with worsening forms of relapsing-remitting, progressive-relapsing, and secondary-progressive MS. 

 
 

Tysabri (Natalizumab), Monthly Infusion, 68% effective.

-Tysabri Side Effects: The most common symptom reported is a sensation of feeling better. Negative side effects include headache, tired feeling, joint or muscle pain, redness or irritation at the injection site. Serious side effects: Herpes infections, liver damage, allergic reactions, weakened immune system, PML (1 in 1000). 

- How Tysabri works: It keeps the white blood cells of the immune system from entering the brain and spinal cord, which doctors think plays an important role in the damaging effects of MS. 

 
 

Ocrevus (ocrelizamab), Periodic Infusions, 70% effective.

-Ocrevus Side Effects: Infusion reactions infections, slight increase in malignancies (breast cancer & tumors), upper respiratory infections, PML...

-How Ocrevus works: Ocrevus is a humanized monoclonal antibody that is designed to target CD20-positive B cells. Although the exact way OCREVUS works is not known, it is thought to work in MS by decreasing certain B cells which have the CD20 protein on its surface. 

 
 

*Rituxan (rituximab), Not FDA approved for MS- prescribed off label (often not covered by insurance), Periodic Infusions, 70% effective. -Rituxan Side Effects: Injection reactions, fever, chills, body aches; feeling tired; joint pain; or cold symptoms.

-How it Rituxan works:Rituxan targets the immune system to help calm the inflammation that scars nerves, leading to disease progression. The drug works by targeting cells in the immune system called B cells, which make antibodies that contribute to the disease process.

 
 

** How Ocrevus & Rituxan compare/differ:Ocrevus and Rituxan both target CD20-positive B cells, they are different molecules in their structure and how they interact with the immune system. Rituxan is a chimeric antibody, composed of both mouse and human parts. The immune system may form antibodies against the Rituxan making the effectiveness of the medicine over time. This has not been true with Ocrevus which is a humanized molecule. 

 Copaxone (Glatiramer Acetate) *Comes in Generic,  Injections 3 times a week, 29% effective at preventing attacks.    

       -Copaxone Side Effects: Some patients report a   short-term reaction right after or within minutes after injection.

        -How Copaxone works: interacts with those elements within the immune process that   are believed to be responsible for multiple sclerosis. It is thought to work   for people with MS by regulating their immune system so as to reduce and   possibly counteract the immune damage occurring in MS.


AUBAGIO (teriflunomide),   1 pill a day 31% effective. 

     -Aubagio   Side Effects: Reduced white blood cell   count, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, allergic reactions, including serious skin problems, breathing problems   (new or worsening), high blood pressure, patients with low white blood cell count should not receive certain vaccinations during treatment and 6   months after. 

    - How it AUBAGIO works:  blocks an enzyme called DHODH that these overactive cells need   to keep multiplying at their overactive rate.  


Avonex, Beta Seron, Extavia,  Plegridy, Ribiff (Interferon), Injections,  33%, 34%, 34%, 36%, 33%   effective respectively. 

    -Interferon Side Effects: The most common side effect is Flu-like symptoms. Others include injection site reactions, trouble   with your mood. Serious side effects are rare but include Behavioral health   problems, suicidal thoughts, serious liver problems, digestion problems, bleeding, respiratory trouble, and skin reactions.      

   -How Interferons work: are natural substances produced by the body to help it   fight against attacks such as infections caused by viruses. The exact way   that they works in MS is not yet known but interferons seems to calm the immune system down, and prevents relapses of MS.       


Mayzent (Siponimod) Oral medication 55% effective in preventing disease activity and prevents disabilty progression in SPMS by 29%.

   - Mayzent Side Effects:  headache, hypertension, swelling, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea.

   -How it works:  By binding to the sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor found on the outside of immune cells, blocking its normal action. 


Tecfidera (Dimethyl fumarate),   1 pill once or twice a day, 49% effective.

     -Tecfidera  Side Effects: Common side effects   include flushing and gastrintestinal upset. Serious side effects include allergic reactions, PML, low white blood cell, and liver problems. 

     -How Tecfidera works: It appears to have anti-inflammatory actions and brain-protective actions. lowering inflammation and decreasing the ability of the immune cells to get in and attack the central nervous system. Additionally, it may protect nerves from damage. 

     -How Tecfidera works: It appears to have anti-inflammatory actions and brain-protective actions. lowering inflammation and decreasing the ability of the immune cells to get in and attack the central nervous system. Additionally, it may protect nerves from damage. 


Mavenclad (Cladrabine)  58% effective Mavenclad is taken by mouth in two treatment courses, twelve months apart.

   -Side Effects: Potential safety issues identified by the FDA include decrease in white blood cells, and increased risk of infections and liver injury. The most common adverse reactions reported during clinical trials included upper respiratory tract infections, headache, and low white blood counts.

   -How it works:   Mavenclad is a compound that targets certain types of white blood cells (lymphocytes) that drive the immune attack in MS. It temporarily reduces the number of both T and B lymphocytes without continuous suppression of the immune system.



Gilenya (fingolimod), 1 pill a day, 54% effective.     

-Gilenyia  Side Effects: Headache, tired feeling,   influenza, stuffy nose, sinus pain, diarrhea, back pain, liver transaminase   elevations, and cough. Rare serous   effects include PML, macular edema, posterior reversible encephalopathy   syndrome, respiratory effects, liver injury, fetal Risk, increased blood pressure, cutaneous   malignancies, and Iimune system effects following GILENYA discontinuation. 

       -How Gilenya works: It binds to the surface of white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the blood, and these cells are then trapped in the lymph glands, which prevents the lymphocytes from crossing into the central nervous system and causing inflammation and damage.


Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), Series of infusions, 55% effective.

      -Lemtrada   Side Effects: Rash, headache, fever, runny nose, sore throat, nasal   congestion, nausea, urinary tract infection, fatigue, insomnia, upper   respiratory tract infection, herpes viral infection, hives, itching, thyroid   gland disorders, fungal infection, joint pain, pain in extremity, back pain,   diarrhea, sinus infection, mouth and throat pain, numbness or tingling,   dizziness, abdominal pain, flushing of the face/neck/chest, vomiting, cough,   chills, changes in sense of taste, flu symptoms, skin swelling, indigestion,   blood in the urine, shortness of breath, fast heart beat, anxiety, weakness,   or muscle pain. Serious side effects include serious autoimmune problems,   Immune thrombocytopenia, kidney problems, serious infusion reactions, may   increase your chance of getting some kinds of cancers, low blood counts ,   serious infections, lung and gallbladder.

    -How Lemtrada works: It works by binding to and killing immune cells (lymphocytes or white blood cells) which are involved when the immune system attacks myelin. It is thought that the immune cells which grow back after treatment do not cause damage to nerves. 


Navantrone (Mitoxantrone), Infusions (max 4), 66% effective.

    -Navantrone   Side Effects: Nausea, vomiting,   diarrhea, headache, or unusual tiredness may occur. 

    -How Novantrone works: It works by suppressing the immune system to lessen its attack on the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves. It can slow increases in disability and reduce the relapse rate in people with worsening forms of relapsing-remitting,   progressive-relapsing, and secondary-progressive MS.   


 Tysabri (Natalizumab), Monthly Infusion, 68% effective.

     -Tysabri Side Effects: The most common symptom reported is a sensation of feeling   better. Negative side effects include   headache, tired feeling, joint or muscle pain, redness or irritation at the   injection site. Serious side   effects: Herpes infections, liver   damage, allergic reactions, weakened immune system, PML (1 in 1000).  

   - How Tysabri works: It keeps the white blood   cells of the immune system from entering the brain and spinal cord, which   doctors think plays an important role in the damaging effects of MS.   


 Ocrevus (ocrelizamab), Periodic Infusions, 70% effective.

  -Ocrevus Side Effects: Infusion reactions infections, slight increase in malignancies (breast cancer & tumors), upper respiratory infections, PML...

  -How Ocrevus works: Ocrevus is a humanized monoclonal antibody   that is designed to target CD20-positive B cells. Although the exact way OCREVUS works is not known, it is thought to work in MS by decreasing certain B cells which have the CD20 protein on its surface.   


 *Rituxan (rituximab), Not FDA approved for MS- prescribed off label (often not covered by insurance), Periodic Infusions, 70% effective. -Rituxan   Side Effects: Injection reactions,   fever, chills, body aches; feeling tired; joint pain; or cold symptoms.

    -How it Rituxan works: Rituxan targets the immune system to help calm the inflammation that scars nerves, leading to disease progression. The drug works by targeting cells in the immune system called B cells, which make   antibodies that contribute to the disease process.


    ** How   Ocrvus & Rituxan compare/differ: Ocrevus and Rituxan both target CD20-positive B cells, they are   different molecules in their structure and how they interact with the immune system.  Rituxan is a chimeric antibody, composed of both mouse and human parts.  The immune system may form antibodies against the Rituxan making the effectiveness of the medicine over time.  This has not been true with Ocrevus which is a humanized molecule.      



Injections, Infusions, or Pills for MS

Injections, Infusions, or Pills for MS

Disclaimer

  

* Disclaimer: The information you find here in MS Frontiers Multiple Sclerosis Support is based on what has worked for some of us with MS. No one solution or medication works for everyone, so the suggestions and information you find on this site should not take the place of your doctor.

Treating MS

Medications

Medications

Medications

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Taking disease modifying medications to prevent our bodies from  having MS attacks and future disability.​    

Disease modifying therapies (dmd) are the only treatments scientifically proven to change the natural progression of the disease. DMDs may have may side effects that are bothersome. They may also increase the risk of other diseases or conditions in the future. We help you assess the effectiveness and risks on our medication page . We consider the DMDs like a seat belt. You can live life and may never have a wreck, but if you do that seat belt could save your life.

Diets

Medications

Medications

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Diets are a way some people actively treat their MS.  They may do this alone, with supplements, or in combination with medications.  Diets modifications have been shown to reduce inflammation, toxins, and increase the nutritional value, PH, and friendly  bacteria in our guts.

Diets have proven to be a factor in everyone's Health and well-being.  Depending solely on diet as a way to control MS could set you up for regrets later on in your disease. Following a nutritious diet is a good, however it is highly unlikely diet change will cure MS.

Supplements

Medications

Supplements

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Vitamin, minerals, and herbals can be used as a treatment for MS, or in conjunction with other treatment choices to ease the symptoms of MS.

Supplements are far cheaper than the medications used for MS. These have been used as medicines as long as men have been alive. Some of these have been proven to be effective. The natural health products used as a treatment may not be what in them at all. The FDA doesn't regulate this market so a lot of research on longer term effects, interactions, toxicity, and therapeutic levels needs to be addressed before anyone takes them. There are supplements that have been proven to be effective in people with MS.