MS medications can be divided into several categories. The
first group of medications (disease modifying therapies)
are drugs that impact the underlying disease. These drugs
are also called immunomodulatory therapies and generally
work by targeting some aspect of the inflammatory process
of MS, with an aim of preventing inflammation which causes
Second, there are medications (steroids) that help to decrease
the severity and duration of MS relapses. A relapse is caused by
an area of acute inflammation in the central nervous system and
steroids work to actively suppress inflammation. Steroids are powerful
medications with a variety of side effects if taken long term and
so they are used over the short term to improve relapse symptoms
and speed healing.
Finally, there are medications that help ease many MS related symptoms.
Many medications come into this category. There are medications
to help fatigue, spasticity, and pain, to name a few.
The availability of new treatments is increasing steadily thanks
to continuing research in Canada and throughout the world. See
the Research section for more information.
In addition to medications, living a healthy lifestyle will help
to maximize your sense of well being. A balanced diet, adequate
rest, and some form of regular exercise are all ways of equipping
your body with what it needs to help you feel your best. And healthy
living benefits more than your physical well being - it may just
help your emotional health as well!
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