Saturday, May 17, 2008

Information for the Newly Diagnosed: Disease Modifying Drugs


If you are newly diagnosed, you may be facing a decision to start one of the disease modifying drugs. This information can be confusing and overwhelming, so I am providing some links to the most current information (May 2008) that you might find helpful.

Four are self injectable medications and are the most common for newly diagnosed patients to start:
Avonex
Betaseron
Copaxone
Rebif

The next two are administered via IV infusion:
Tysabri
Novantrone

1) I highly recommend starting with The National MS Society's brochure titled "The Disease Modifying Drugs, Newly Diagnosed" describes the current medications used to control the effects of multiple sclerosis.

This NMSS brochure encourages people to begin treatment early; lists the available drugs with their side effects and any warnings; details a benefits analysis of beginning a medications (they slow the progress and may prevent permanent damage), and offers general information on paying for the medications.

2) Next, visit the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America's Approved Long Term Treatments table that lists the six meds that compares each drug type, side effects, how administered and some additional notes.

These are two good starting points for you. If you have found some better summaries, please share via comments to this post.

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