Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS) Treatments Explained
As of June 2021, there were 20 different disease-modifying therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating multiple sclerosis (MS). Each DMT has been proven in multiple clinical trials to reduce the frequency of clinical attacks (also called relapses, flare-ups, or exacerbations) and the development of new lesions on the brain and spinal cord, which make up the central nervous system. Some DMTs have also been proven to slow the accumulation of disability.
Overall, DMTs slow disease progression and might help keep relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis stable. Some DMTs have also been approved to treat other types of MS, such as secondary progressive MS and clinically isolated syndrome.
With so many treatment options, how can someone diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS know which MS treatment will be best for them? For some people, how a DMT is taken and how often it is taken are important factors. Some prefer a medication taken orally over one taken by injection or intravenous infusion. Others prefer a more convenient dosage schedule with medication taken only a few times a year.
It can also help to know how doctors view which DMTs should be prescribed first and how different classes of DMTs work.
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).
In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves.
Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms.
There’s no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks, modify the course of the disease and manage symptoms.