Skip to navigation Skip to content

Treating RRMS

Making Treatment & Lifestyle Decisions: Thinking About Benefits & Risks

Learn about the factors people must consider when making treatment and lifestyle decisions, including when to begin treatment, the role information overload can play in decision making, and how to weigh the benefits and risks of a treatment or lifestyle decision.

Watch now



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.


Rehabilitation specialists have an important role from the time of diagnosis helping people function optimally in spite of their MS, including enhancing mobility and promoting safety and independence.

Modifying the Disease Course

There are numerous medications that 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.

Of these medications, seven are injectable (Avonex®, Betaseron®, Copaxone®, Extavia®, Glatopa™, Plegridy®Rebif® and Zinbryta™ [WITHDRAWN FROM THE MARKET - MARCH 2, 2018]), three are oral  (Aubagio®, Gilenya® and Tecfidera®), and three are infused (Lemtrada™, Novantrone® and Tysabri®).

Novantrone is approved specifically for people with worsening RRMS — in other words, those whose RRMS is progressing in spite of treatment with one of the first-line medications -- as well as those with secondary-progressive MS. Lemtrada is approved for people with relapsing forms of MS who have had an inadequate response to at least two other disease-modifying therapies.

Read more in  The MS Disease-Modifying Medications (.pdf). Read about strategies for managing injection fatigue.