3. How are Relapses Treated?
Not all patients experiencing relapses need treatment. Some mild sensory alterations, like numbness, pins-and-needle sensations, or peaks of fatigue that don’t interfere with the patient’s normal life are often not treated. However, in the case of severe relapses, such as loss of vision, severe weakness. or poor balance physicians usually recommend treatment. Since the patient’s mobility, safety and overall ability to function are compromised, neurologists may prescribe a short course of high-dose corticosteroids in order to decrease inflammation and end the relapse faster.
The most common course of treatment includes the intravenous administration of Solu-medrol® (methylprednisolone) or a high dose of oral Deltasone® (prednisone), for three to five days. However, corticosteroids are found ineffective in the long-term treatment of MS. Other treatment options include H.P. Acthar Gel (ACTH) for patients who cannot deal with the side effects of high-dose corticosteroids, for whom corticosteroids are ineffective, who don’t have access to intravenous therapy or who have difficulties receiving medication intravenously, or plasmapheresis (plasma exchange) for the cases that do not respond well to standard steroid treatment.
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