May 11, 2016:
In 2013, I stopped taking Tysabri and tried the oral pill, Tecfidera. I took Tecfidera for only 4 months as I was having horrible side effects from it. It was the worst decision that I’ve ever made to stop the Tysabri infusions and take the Tecfidera oral pill. It completely messed up my stomach; and, it took years to finally get past all of the stomach problems it created. After stopping the Tecfidera, I immediately went back to getting Tysabri monthly infusions.
2016 is turning out to be a wonderful year for new MS therapies. Currently, I am looking at stem cells. Unfortunately, there is not a stem cell study taking place in Houston as of now; but, there is a stem cell study in Chicago that Dr. Richard Burt with Northwestern University is conducting. Keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be found eligible to go to Chicago for a formal evaluation. Will definitely provide updates on how this is going.
October 13, 2012:
There are several therapies, or treatments, for MS.
The following agents can reduce disease activity and disease progression for many individuals with relapsing forms of MS, including those with secondary progressive disease who continue to have relapses. When one is initially diagnosed with MS, they are usually started on one of the following therapies:
I was diagnosed with MS in 2005 and immediately started taking Copaxone, which is a daily shot. The only symptoms I had while on Copaxone were welps at the injection sites. I would put ice on the site after the injection to help with the swelling.
When it was determined that the Copaxone was not helping like it had been, I was put on Tysabri, which is an infusion once a month. I am currently on the Tysabri, and have been taking the Tysabri every month for eight years.
There is constant research being done to find a cure for MS, but also for other therapies.
Although at this time there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, there are many effective ways of managing the disease. There are now two medications in pill form to treat multiple sclerosis, and one waiting for approval.
The first oral drug, Gilenya, was approved September 2010.
The newest therapy that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is teriflunomide once-daily pills (Aubagio,® Genzyme, a Sanofi company) to treat relapsing forms of MS. This is the second oral disease-modifying therapy approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The therapy became available for prescription in the U.S. in September 2012.
The most recent oral treatment being studied is Dimethyl fumarate, also known as BG-12. If approved, BG-12 could be another weapon to treat MS. Based on the results of two studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine, experts believe this is likely.
Once diagnosed with MS, you and your neurologist can focus on finding the best therapy for you.
Blackstone, Margaret. The First Year – Multiple Sclerosis: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. New York: Marlowe & Company, 2003.
Nichols, Judith Lynn. Women Living with Multiple Sclerosis. California: Hunter House, Inc. Publishers, 1999.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Lone Star. Texas.