Feel Confident about Your MS Treatment Decisions - dummies

Feel Confident about Your MS Treatment Decisions

By Rosalind Kalb, Barbara Giesser, Kathleen Costello

Any good multiple sclerosis (MS) doctor will tell you that treating MS is as much an art as it is a science — in other words, it’s more creative problem-solving than hard-and-fast rules. Getting a handle on the available disease-modifying therapies is no easy task, but several resources are available to help you.

You can contact the National MS Society at (800) FIGHT-MS (800-344-4867) to ask questions about any of the approved medications, as well as those currently being evaluated in clinical trials. In addition, the organization offers the following resources to assist you in finding out about the medications and discussing them with your healthcare team:

  • The MS Disease Modifying Medications: This handy pocket-size brochure gives you a detailed overview of the disease-modifying therapies in MS. It’s updated regularly to include any new information that becomes available about each medication.

  • Information about ongoing clinical trials and clinical trial participation is available at the National MS Society website.

The artistry involves you and your healthcare team working together to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs. And although your plan will probably include some medications, keep in mind that none of them are magic cure-alls — they slow things down, but they don’t stop them from happening.

You’ll probably have some relapses even if you’re on a DMT, and your symptoms will continue to do their thing. But this doesn’t mean that you’ve failed in some way. When docs use that terrible term “treatment failure,” they don’t mean you! You didn’t fail the treatment; the treatment failed you by not doing all that you hoped and expected.

If a treatment fails, your physician will work with you to figure out what other treatments to try. In the meantime, keep your eye on the big picture: Work with your healthcare team to manage your symptoms, and remember that feeling healthy is about more than just your MS.