Corticosteroids – Usually an infusion or drip is used by means of a substance related to the hormones
Interferon – beta interferon (two kinds: 1a and 1b) which are licensed in SA thus far Beta interferon reduce the frequency of attacks in relapsing remitting MS by about 30 per cent Clinical trials have also shown some benefit to people with secondary progressive MS but only where relapses are the cause of increasing disability. There are currently no evidence showing benefits of these drugs for people with primary progressive MS although research continues.
Alternative treatments are also used like Acupuncture, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, herbal preparations; homeopathy and osteopathy are just some of the treatments that are widely available.
Interferon’s are derived from human cytokines which help regulate the immune system.
Avonex is used once a week, intra-muscular
Rebif is used 3 times a week, subcutaneous
Inteferon 1 b
Betaferon is used every other day, subcutaneous
Trade name is Copaxone is used every day, subcutaneous
Mitoxantrone (Trade name Novantrone)
Is effective but limited by cardiac toxicity and is used for secondary progressive, progressive-relapsing and worsening relapsing –remitting MS
Natalizumab (Trade name Tysabri)
With Relapsing-remitting attacks Patients are typically given high doses of intravenous corticosteroids to end the attack sooner and leave fewer lasting deficits.
Currently there are no approved treatments for primary progressive ms though several medications are being studied