At present, there are eight medications that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of 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):
- The five injectable medications (Avonex®, Betaseron®, Copaxone®, Extavia®, and Rebif® are generally seen as first-line treatments. Most MS experts recommend that people consider starting one of these medications as soon as the diagnosis of RRMS has been confirmed.
- Gilenya®, the first oral medication approved to treat MS, is also available as a first-line treatment option.
- Tysabri® is approved for people who have not gained sufficient benefit from one or more of the injectable medications or have been unable to tolerate the side effects.
- Novantrone® 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.
In addition to these medications to modify the disease course, people with RRMS can work with their health care team to:
- Manage relapses
- Manage the symptoms
- Enhance mobility and promote safety and independence
- Promote overall health and wellness
- Promote emotional well-being and quality of life