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Treating SPMS


Modifying the Disease Course

The interferon beta medications (Avonex®, Betaseron®, Extavia®, Plegridy® and Rebif®), Aubagio® (teriflunomide), Gilenya® (fingolimod), Lemtrada™ (alemtuzumab),Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate), and Tysabri® (natalizumab) are all approved by the FDA for use in relapsing forms of MS, which include those individuals who have transitioned to secondary-progressive MS but continue to have relapses and/or evidence of disease activity on MRI. Therefore, a person who has been on one of these 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 another one of these medications or to Novantrone® (mitoxantrone), a chemotherapeutic agent that has been approved by the FDA specifically for SPMS, as well as worsening relapsing MS.

Read more in The MS Disease-Modifying Medications (.pdf).

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.


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.