The strategies for treating SPMS include:
- Modifying the disease course
The interferon beta medications (Avonex®, Betaseron® and Rebif® and Tysabri® (natalizumab) are approved by the FDA for use in relapsing forms of MS, which includes those individuals who have transitioned to SPMS but continue to have relapses. Therefore, a person who has been on one of the interferon medications during the initial relapsing-remitting phase of the disease will likely continue on it unless his or her physician feels that it is no longer doing an adequate job of controlling disease activity. At that time, the physician will likely recommend changing to Tysabri (natalizumab) or Novantrone® (mitoxantrone).
Novantrone, a chemotherapeutic agent, is the only medication that has been approved by the FDA specifically for SPMS, as well as worsening relapsing MS.
- Managing symptoms
Regardless of the course of MS a person is experiencing, proactive symptom management is essential to maintaining comfort and productivity, and enhancing quality of life.
- Enhancing mobility and promoting safety and independence
Rehabilitation specialists have an important role, from the time of diagnosis onward, in helping people function optimally in spite of their MS.
- Promoting overall health and wellness
Health and wellness can be achieved even in the presence of a chronic illness or disability.
- Promoting emotional well-being and quality of life.