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Drug Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 5/31/2009

This article discusses the five most popular and effective drug treatments for multiple sclerosis.

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    New Drug Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

    According to the World Health Organization, multiple sclerosis affects more than 2.5 million people worldwide. This number is expected to climb steadily in the coming years. There are dozens of drugs in development for multiple sclerosis, but five of these drugs show great promise. These five drugs include Rebif, Tysabri, Betaferon, Copaxone and Avonex.

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    Avonex

    Avonex, or interferon beta-1a, is an injectable medication that is taken once a week for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. This medication is easy to start and stay on for most patients. Avonex was approved in 1998 and is used by thousands of multiple sclerosis patients worldwide. It is prescribed to help slow down physical disability, to reduce the rate of brain atrophy, to reduce brain lesions and to decrease the number of relapses a patient has.

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    Copaxone

    Copaxone, or glatiramer acetate, is an injectable medication used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. It is said to be effective in fighting the damage that multiple sclerosis causes to the central nervous system. Copaxone is used to help reduce the number of relapses a patient has. It is also shown to help reduce new lesions from forming.

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    Betaferon

    Betaferon, or interferon beta-1b, is an injectable medication used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. This medication has shown positive results in being able to change the patient's immune system response. Betaferon has been shown to reduce the number of relapses a patient has. It also decreases the severity of the relapses and increase the time in between relapses.

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    Tysabri

    Tysabri, or natalizumab, is a medication that is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. This medication is typically prescribed to patients who have not responded well to other multiple sclerosis treatments. It has shown effectiveness in decreasing physical disability as well as reducing the number and severity of a patient's relapses.

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    Rebif

    Rebif, or interferon beta-1a, is an injectable medication, taken three times a week, used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Rebif has been proven to reduce the number of relapses that a patient experiences. It has also been proven effective in decreasing the frequency of a patient's relapses and area and activity of brain lesions.

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    Resources

    • (2009). Avonex. Retrieved on May 25, 2009 from Website: http://www.avonex.com/msavProject/avonex.portal
    • (2009). Copaxone. Retrieved on May 25, 2009 from Website: http://www.copaxone.com/onCopaxone/efficacy.aspx
    • (2009). Betaferon. Retrieved on May 25, 2009 from Website: http://www.mydr.com.au/medicines/cmis/betaferon-powder-for-injection
    • (2009). Tysabri. Retrieved on May 25, 2009 from Website: http://www.tysabri.com/tysbProject/tysb.portal/_baseurl/twoColLayout/SCSRepository/en_US/tysb/home/index.xml
    • (2009). Rebif. Retrieved on May 25, 2009 from Website: http://www.mslifelines.com/rebif/guide/index.jsp