Multiple Sclerosis: A Therapeutic Overview

Mark H. J. Litzinger, BSc, BSc Pharm, RPh; Monica Litzinger, BSc, BSc Pharm, RPh

Disclosures

US Pharmacist. 2009;34(1):HS3-HS9. 

In This Article

Treatment of MS

Since there is currently no cure for MS, treatment is limited to treating exacerbations, managing symptoms, improving function, and using DMDs.[4,14,15,16,17,18,19,20] Treating exacerbations or inflammation in the CNS is limited to a short course of corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, betamethasone, or dexamethasone) to reduce inflammation.[4] Short-term side effects of steroids are increased appetite, psychosis, bloating, acne, insomnia, headache, and muscle weakness. Due to the long-term side effects of bone loss, suppression of the immune system, moon face, blood glucose changes, and stomach ulcers, this treatment is limited to short courses of therapy.

The management of symptoms is the next level of treatment in patients with MS. The treatment options used for some of the symptoms exhibited by patients are listed in Table 2.

Rehabilitation is the primary method of improving function in patients with MS. Depending on the level of disability, patients may require physical, occupational, speech, or even cognitive therapy. For long-term treatment of MS, most physicians will prescribe DMDs to their patients.

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