Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a serious condition that attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. In multiple sclerosis, the immune system mistakenly mounts a strike against the protective covering (myelin) around the nerve fibres, leading to faulty nerve signals between the brain and the other parts of the body. Ultimately, MS causes permanent damage to the nerves, worsening the condition.
Multiple sclerosis signs and symptoms are highly varied among patients. This is because the condition attacks different nerves, causing different levels of nerve damage. Some patients may go through long durations of remission without exhibiting any new signs, while some may become disabled due to serious damage.
Even though multiple sclerosis is incurable, treatments are available to accelerate recovery from relapses, control symptoms, and slow down the progression of the disease.
Treatment of MS
The goal of any given MS treatment plan is speeding up recovery from relapses, impeding the progression of the condition, and alleviating symptoms to improve patients’ quality of life. Some patients experience symptoms so mild that they often do not require treatment.
In managing multiple sclerosis relapses, two common treatment options are available. These include the use of corticosteroids and plasma exchange. However, FDA-approved disease-modifying drugs are also available for the treatment of primary-progressive and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
A significant part of the immune system response associated with multiple sclerosis transpires in the initial stages of the condition. Vigorous treatment using disease-modifying drugs promptly can both reduce the rate of relapses and inhibit the development of more lesions.
Most disease-modifying drugs for MS come with serious risks. Therefore, choosing the appropriate treatment depends on thorough deliberation of various factors. Consider the severity of attacks, pre-existing health conditions, and medical expenses.
The most commonly used medications for treating relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis are beta interferons, ocrelizumab, glatiramer acetate, and fingolimod.
Fingolimod Gilenya Multiple Sclerosis Drug
Available under the brand name Gilenya, fingolimod is an FDA-approved medication used once a day to lower the rate of relapses. It belongs in the drug class sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulators. Ultimately, it works by safeguarding various lymphatic white blood cells to prevent their travel over into the central nervous system. Therefore, lessening damaging inflammation to nerves.
The use of Gilenya necessitates close monitoring of cardiovascular rate. This is done for several hours following the initial dose as the drug may slow down the heartbeat. Some other reported side effects of Gilenya are headaches, increased blood pressure, and vision problems.
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