What you may expect from treatment

Get tips from a neurologist about treating MS
Relapsing MS Treatment Expectations

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My name is Dr. Pat Coyle. I’m a neurologist who takes care of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Starting a new treatment can be overwhelming. I’d like to give you some things to think about as you begin the treatment recommended by your doctor. Keep in mind, my opinion should not take the place of your doctor. Each neurologist may have a different approach. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about specific treatment goals or how well your treatment is working.

Here are some things to think about at the beginning of treatment for MS:

  • There are multiple options available to help treat your relapsing MS. All treatment options vary, and the choice depends on each person's individual situation. If you experience any side effects, make sure you speak to your doctor about them. He or she can answer any of your treatment questions and discuss possible side effects. Learn more about the different types of treatments available for relapsing MS
  • It's important to take your treatment as directed. Make sure you listen carefully to your doctor. Follow the instructions he or she gives you
  • Once you start a treatment, discuss your response to it with your healthcare provider on a regular basis. It's important to monitor your progress. An MRI scan is one way to do this. Your doctor may want to know if you have a relapse on treatment. A relapse is a new or recurrent neurological episode that lasts for more than 24 hours and is not associated with a fever or an infection. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about relapses
  • Your healthcare provider may ask to regularly monitor your progress using an MRI scan. This is up to your healthcare provider and what he or she thinks is appropriate for you. MRI scans may help your healthcare provider assess how well your current treatment is working and detect any "silent" lesions that occur without any symptoms. Learn more about MRIs here
  • Make sure you communicate. Keep the lines of communication open between you and your doctor. Let him or her know how you’re doing. If there are any problems, bring them up. If you have any questions, ask them. Being open and honest with your doctor can be very helpful in reaching your treatment goals

Discussing treatment sooner rather than later with your doctor is important. Remember to take your treatment directly as prescribed by your doctor. Check out these tips to help you stay on track with your medicine.

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