The short answer is: You should start treating relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) as soon as possible after you are diagnosed. Research has shown that this is the best way to slow disease progression.1 With many disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) on the market,2 narrowing down what is important in your journey early on with your healthcare provider (HCP) is critical to feeling confident in your treatment decision.1 Making a plan with your doctor from the start makes good sense, for many reasons.2
The sooner you and your HCP can agree on the appropriate treatment for you, the sooner you can try to slow the progression of relapsing MS.1 The following are things to discuss with your doctor when beginning any DMT.
TAKE NEW LESIONS INTO ACCOUNT3
New lesions can be a “silent” sign that relapsing MS may be getting worse. You may not have symptoms, but your disease may still be active.1 The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) recommends that people living with relapsing MS have regular MRIs.4 MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging.5 An MRI can be used to help diagnose relapsing MS and to monitor disease activity.6
Use your first MRI as a baseline and then compare to any MRIs performed after that.5 The MSAA MRI Access Fund [link to www.mymsaa.org] may be able to help eligible patients cover the cost of regular MRIs. Your doctor will use your results to discuss decisions about treatment with you.6
SLOW THE PROGRESSION OF DISABILITY3
Doctors measure disability progression using a test called the Expanded Disability Status Scale, or EDSS.7 Your first score—or your “baseline”—will determine how your disability is gauged moving forward. Changes in your EDSS will show if your relapsing MS is progressing.*8 When your level of disability remains stable that means you may continue doing the things you enjoy for as long as possible.
SMALL CHANGES COULD SIGNAL A NEED7
Disability progression can appear in different ways in the body, such as motor, sensory, bowel and bladder function, vision, speech, balance and mood.1 The goal of relapsing MS treatment should be to slow disability progression.3 Whether you are newly diagnosed or currently on a treatment — talk to your healthcare provider about making this a priority if you are seeing changes in your abilities.9
REDUCING RELAPSES IS KEY3
Staying ahead of relapses is important. All relapses, whether mild or severe, are signs that relapsing MS is active.6 Relapsing MS therapies are unique and each address relapses differently.2 When choosing a DMT, you and your HCP should discuss reducing relapses and the clinical data available for each treatment option.9
AUBAGIO IS A ONCE-DAILY PILL WITH A 15+ YEAR HISTORY THAT’S BEEN STUDIED OVER TIME10,12,13
- AUBAGIO 14 mg was effective against placebo (pills with no medicine) in 3 key measures: reduced relapses, decreased number of new lesions, and slowed disability progression.†10
WHAT A SMALL CHANGE OVER 7.5 YEARS MEANS
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