Ten medications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS, including relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). All have been shown to reduce the number of relapses (also called attacks or exacerbations) and number of new lesions (also called plaques or scars) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and they may also slow disease progression. Most MS experts recommend that people consider starting one of these medications as soon as the diagnosis of RRMS has been confirmed.
Five injectable medications (Avonex®, Betaseron®, Copaxone®, Extavia® and Rebif®), three oral medications (Gilenya®, Aubagio® and Tecfidera®), and one infused medicastion (Tysabri®) are avalable as first-line treatment options for relapsing-remitting MS.
Novantrone, the other infused medication, is approved for people with worsening RRMS — in other words, those whose RRMS is progressing in spite of treatment with one of the first-line medications.