Exploring Different MS Treatment Options: What You Need To Know

Louis A. Cona, MD
Updated on
Dec 13, 2022
8

minute read

In this article, we will explore the different MS treatment options, including Ocrevus, Mavenclad, Tysabri, and stem cells and discuss the pros and cons of each option.

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system. It is characterized by inflammation, damage to the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve cells, and the formation of scar tissue (sclerosis) in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, MS can lead to many symptoms, including muscle weakness and fatigue, difficulty with coordination and balance, vision problems, and cognitive and emotional problems. There are several treatment options available for MS, and it is important to explore them to find the best one for you. 

In this article, we will explore the different MS treatment options, including Ocrevus, Mavenclad, Tysabri, and stem cells and discuss the pros and cons of each option. We will also examine the costs associated with each treatment option and explore ways to work with your doctor to find the best treatment option.


Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, progressive neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system. It is characterized by inflammation, damage to the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve cells, and the formation of scar tissue (sclerosis) in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, MS can lead to many symptoms, including muscle weakness and fatigue, difficulty with coordination and balance, vision problems, and cognitive and emotional problems.

MS is a lifelong condition, and there is no cure, but several treatments available can help control symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. It is essential to speak to your doctor about the treatment options available and find the one that is right for you.


Overview of MS Treatment Options

The main aim of MS treatment is to manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Several medications available can help with this, and it is essential to explore them to find the best one for you.

The most common MS treatments include:

  • Interferon beta-1a and interferon beta-1b injections: These are medications injected into the body to reduce inflammation and slow disease progression.
  • Glatiramer acetate injections: This medication is injected into the body to reduce inflammation and slow disease progression.
  • Ocrevus: This is an intravenous infusion of an antibody that reduces inflammation and slows disease progression.
  • Mavenclad: This tablet is taken orally to reduce inflammation and slow disease progression.
  • Tysabri: This is an intravenous infusion of an antibody that reduces inflammation and slows disease progression.


In addition to these treatments, a number of lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. These include exercise, stress management, and healthy eating. Speaking to your doctor about the best approach for you is essential.


Ocrevus: An Overview

Ocrevus is an intravenous infusion of an antibody that reduces inflammation and slows disease progression. It is approved for use in adults with relapsing forms of MS and is the only FDA-approved treatment for primary progressive MS.

Ocrevus is given as a two-hour infusion once every six months. The most common side effects of Ocrevus are headaches, upper respiratory infections, infusion reactions, and increased liver enzymes. The medication is expensive and is covered by most insurance plans.


Mavenclad: An Overview

Mavenclad is a tablet taken orally to reduce inflammation and slow disease progression. It is approved for use in adults with relapsing forms of MS and is the only oral therapy approved for this use.

Mavenclad is taken in two doses on the first day of treatment and then one dose each day for the next two days. The medication is expensive and is covered by most insurance plans. The most common side effects of Mavenclad are nausea, muscle spasms, and abdominal pain.


Tysabri: An Overview

Tysabri is an intravenous infusion of an antibody that reduces inflammation and slows disease progression. It is approved for use in adults with relapsing forms of MS and is the only FDA-approved treatment for secondary progressive MS.

Tysabri is given as a two-hour infusion once every four weeks. Tysabri's most common side effects are nausea, headaches, injection site reactions, and increased liver enzymes. The medication is expensive and is covered by most insurance plans.


Exploring the Pros and Cons of the Different MS Treatment Options

When exploring different MS treatment options, it is essential to consider both the pros and cons.

The pros of Ocrevus include that it is an intravenous infusion, which means the treatment can be administered quickly and easily in a doctor's office. It is also the only FDA-approved treatment for primary progressive MS. The cons of Ocrevus include that it is expensive and can cause side effects such as headaches, upper respiratory infections, and infusion reactions.

The pros of Mavenclad include that it is an oral therapy, which means it can be taken at home and does not require a doctor's visit. It is also the only oral therapy approved for use in adults with relapsing forms of MS. The cons of Mavenclad include that it is expensive and can cause side effects such as nausea, muscle spasms, and abdominal pain.

The pros of Tysabri include that it is an intravenous infusion, which means it can be given quickly and easily in a doctor's office. It is also the only FDA-approved treatment for secondary progressive MS. The cons of Tysabri include that it is expensive and can cause side effects such as nausea, headaches, injection site reactions, and increased liver enzymes.


Finding the Best MS Treatment Option for You

When exploring different MS treatment options, it is paramount to consider your individual needs and discuss them with your doctor. Your doctor can help you determine the best treatment option based on your medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle.

It is also essential to consider the cost of the different treatment options. Some medications may be covered by your insurance, while others may not. It is necessary to discuss the charges with your doctor and insurance provider to determine what is covered and what is not.


Examining the Costs of MS Treatment Options

The cost of MS treatment can vary depending on the medication and your insurance coverage. Ocrevus, Mavenclad, and Tysabri are all expensive medications typically covered by most insurance plans. However, it is crucial to speak to your insurance provider to determine what is covered and what is not.

It is also vital to consider the cost of other medications, lifestyle changes, and other treatments that may be necessary to manage your symptoms. It is essential to discuss these costs with your doctor to ensure that you can manage your symptoms in the most cost-effective way possible.


Stem Cell Therapy for MS

Stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While it is still in the early stages of research, many organizations are committed to finding a treatment course to improve the condition significantly. 

These organizations are working with leading researchers and medical specialists to find the best ways to use stem cell therapy to treat MS. If the treatment proves successful, it could potentially be used to restore the mobility and quality of life for those living with the condition. 

Currently, stem cell therapy is being tested in patient-funded clinical trials, and physicians are gathering data on its long-term effectiveness. The results from these trials will help determine the best way to move forward with stem cell therapy for MS. As the research progresses, there is hope that this therapy will one day be widely available to those suffering from MS, providing a new way to manage their condition and improve their quality of life.


Working with Your Doctor to Find the Right Treatment Option

When exploring different MS treatment options, it is vital to work with your doctor to find the best option. Your doctor will be able to help you understand the pros and cons of each option and determine which one is best for you.

Your doctor will also be able to help you understand the costs associated with each treatment option and discuss ways to manage your symptoms in the most cost-effective way possible. It is also essential to discuss any lifestyle changes that may be necessary to help manage your symptoms.


Conclusion

When exploring different MS treatment options, you must consider and discuss them with your doctor. There are several medications available, including Ocrevus, Mavenclad, and Tysabri, and it is essential to understand the pros and cons of each option. There are alternative treatment options that may be able to help as well, such as stem cell therapy. Each patient should research different treatment options available and discuss which route may be best for their situation.

By exploring the different MS treatment options and working with your doctor, you can find the best option for you and work towards managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life.

Do you have questions about MS treatment options? Get in touch with one of our experienced team members today to learn about alternative treatment options.

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