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A Comprehensive Chart of Drugs that Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Updated on February 26, 2019
Jen's Solitude profile image

I've been living with MS for 25+ years and have tried almost every medication available. I have also been evaluated and tested extensively.

This is a chart that lists the drugs used to treat MS.

Drugs Used to Treat MS
Immune Modulators
Acute Attack
60 Mg Then Decrease
Stomach Acid, Restlessness, Immune Supprssion
Side Effects Minimal In Short Course
Acute Attack
1000 Mg I.V. Then Decrease
Same But Higher Dose
Acthar Gel
Acute Attack
Same But Protein May Have Other Actions
80 Units I.M. Or I.V. Then Decrease
Same Plus Edema
Old Drug, Not always available
Chronic Immune Suppression
Bone Marrow Antimetabolite
1.5-2 Mg/Kg/Day
Inf Dis And Lymphoma Aplastic Anemia, Pregn.
Questionably Effective To Prevent Attacks
Severe Worsening
Bone Marrow Suppression
Short Course P.O. Or I.V.
Severely Suppress Wbc Production, Hemorrhagic Cystitis
Works For 6-12 Months
SandImmune, Neoral
Immune Suppr
T-Helper Lymphocytes
~ 5mg/Kg/D Follow Levels
Ht, Renal Dysf Hirsutism
May Damage White Matter
Beta-Inter-Feron 1b
Attack Prevention, decr "lesion burden
Immune Modulation
9.6 M. Units Q.O.D. S,Q.
Flu-Like Symptoms, Self-Injection, Expense, Depression?
Decr. MRI Lesions
Beta Interferon 1a
Attack Prevention, Decr. Disability
Immune Modulation
30 Mcg Weekly I.M.
Same As Betaseron But Less.
More Like Human Protein
Copolymer I, glatiramer
Decr Disease Activity
Allergic Desensitization?
20 mg. Q.D. S.Q. Inj
Rare panic like spells
Affects certain immune cells.
Beta Interferon 1a
Decrease disease activity
Immune Modulator
44mcg 3X a week SQ
See Avonex and Betaseron
Same drug as Avonex given at higher dose. Discussed in text
Human Immune Globulin
Severe Worsening
Immune Modulation
2 Gm/Kg I.V. Over 5 Days
Analphylaxis Flu-Like Syndr
? Utility
Antegren, LeukArrest monoclonal Abs
Elan, ICOS Pharmaceuticals.
Blocks acute attack
Blocks WBC adhesion to blood vessel
Experimental in human trials
Anti-T-Helper Antibodies
Attack, ?Betw Attacks
Offending immune Cells
Allergy, Decr. Effect, I.V.
Magic Bullet
Immune System, WBC
Progressive MS
Liver, WBC, Kidney, Lung
Betaseron flu- like effects
400 mg.
Anti-Spastic Drugs
Spinal GAB-ergic neurons
Drowsiness, Weakness
20-120 Mg/D
Constipation, Weakness, Drowsiness
Muscle t-tubules
50-200 Mg/D
Weakness Is Mechanism Of Effect, Liver Toxic
Old Drug
4 mg 3x/D
Sedation, dizziness
Tic Doloreux, Hemif. Spasm, Sensory Complaints
Electrical after- discharge
200-800 Mg./D
Ataxia, Wbc
Same As Teg
Same: pain, paresthesia
Clumsiness, Dizziness
Increase pain threshold
Up To 150 Mg
Drowsiness, AntiCholinergic Effects
One Of Whole Class Of Drugs
Urine And Bladder
Urge, freq.
2mg twice daily
Dry mouth, constipation
Incr. c-GMP
25-100 mg
HA, flushing
Do not use w/ nitrates
Urge Incontinence
Inhibits bladder contraction
~5mg T.I.D.
Urine Ret. Constip.
Tight Sphincter
Inhibits invol. sphincter
Dizziness, Blood Pressure Drop
Same as Ditropan
Same as ditropan
~15mg T.I.D.
Overflow incontinence
Increase bladder contr.
Up To 150mg/D
N, Diarr,
Not Very Effective
Valium, Lioresal
Tight outflow
Decrease muscle tone
As Above
See Same Drugs Above
Nitrofurantoin, Trimethaprim, Sulfamethozazole, Vit C
Prevent infection
Allergy, Resistent Strains
Cerebellar tremor
Formation of GABA
300mg/D + Vit B6
Anxiety, Liver Toxic.
Tremor, titubation
300-2400 Mg/D
Tremor (Rest and action)
25-200 Mg/D
Electr, Wbc Count
Rapid rest tremor
Beta-adrenergic blocker
Up To 240 Mg/D
Fatigue, Decr Hr
One Of Many
Resting Tremor
Up To 3 Mg./D
One Of Many
Resting tremor and ataxia
Sedation, ?works on motor control?
Sedation, Nausea
Activa (c) Tremor device
resting and intention
overrides tremor generating cells
requires brain surgery
4 -Aminopyridine
Fatigue, increase function
Potassium channels
5-10 mg. 3x/D
Tingling, experimental,
Can cause epileptic seizures,
not approved
DOPA (transmitter)
100-200 Mg/D
Agitation, Hallucination
Controlled Substance
Fatigue, Depression
20-60 Mg. /D
Few Side Effects
Decr libido
Decr libido
Fatigue, depression
agitation, fatigue
decr. libido
fatigue, lack of energy
agitation sleeplessness
good reports but not FDA approved for this indication.
5-10 mg./D
may interact with other drugs.

Yes There Are Many Drugs!

If you are anything like me, then you find it difficult to keep up with the Brand Names versus the Generic Name of all the drugs we deal with.

My goal is to remember the name that is easiest for me to recall. Most of the time that turns out to be the brand name, but since it is as good as my memory can do, I am quite content to remember just one of the various names the drug may be given

Divided Into Categories

One of the reasons I saved this chart is because I wanted a quick reference for when I needed to search a drug for a specific problem.

Did you notice Urine and Bladder has its very own group of drugs. Then there is my favorite Fatigue which lists most of the drugs used to battle that particular symptom. I think this is a convenient and quick resource when you need to learn basic information about a drug you are considering, or when you need a check list of sorts, to see which drugs remain untested by you, in regards to a specific symptom.

I am sure you will be impressed by the knowledge shared by someone who is a practicing physician. He understands all the demands and confusion that is centered around our understanding and keeping up with all the neurological problems MS presents.

His name is Dr. Charles Yanofsky and to give you an example of how fantastic his site is, I have quoted what he lists as 5 goals MS patients should aspire to attain.


First, I’d like to present a few worthwhile goals.

1. Please try to learn all you can about MS. Apart from informing you about the disease, which lets you to make rational choices, knowledge decreases fear. A working vocabulary should help you communicate more efficiently. MS is not an abstraction. It is tangible entity and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to master the basics.

2. Along the way you will need to develop a general strategy for dealing with new challenges, one at a time, to divide an conquer. Some problems are relatively trivial, others important. Learning how to separate them out and deal with them one by one will help. For example, there are minor flares that don’t affect function. Should you stay out of work, go on bed rest? How soon should you call the doctor?, etc. Much of this knowledge will be acquired with experience over a long timeframe.

3. Develop a pattern of open communication with family, spouse, your doctor-- a support system, in other words. You are the expert about yourself and inner feelings which have to come out in some form. Inner turmoil will always be expressed, no matter how hard you try to repress it. You might as well express yourself candidly.

4. Pay attention to your general health. You will best be able to deal with symptoms if you have more stamina, and good health will decrease any possible disability. Jettisoning bad habits such as smoking and overeating is good, as well as developing an exercise regime (don’t over-do it, regularity is the ticket) and it improves your energy level and feeling of well-being. You will be able to get around problems easier with the right attitude and a high energy level.

5. Your ultimate goal is for MS to make as little impact as possible on your life. While you should focus on it in an adaptive way, through the above mechanisms, MS should not take over your life. You should strive to keep your limitations to a minimum, to get out of the house, to focus on other fulfilling parts of life."

Whether newly diagnosed, or a seasoned veteran of MS, I find his goals apply to us all equally and serve as great reminders of how to live successfully with the MonSter.

Have you already decided on your favorite suggestion for a goal? I think my favorite is the very last one, #5.

Who among us doesn't fight everyday so that MS doesn't take over our lives and define us in only the narrowest way. We don't want to be known because we have MS, we want the other parts of our personality to shine through. We do what we can to keep the MS in place, even when it means we have to make choices that are difficult and taxing for us.

I feel much better when I make decisions that will enable my life to be less impacted by MS. I like the positive energy that comes from being determined not to give in to my fears and engage in dangerous speculation that would depress me if I gave it the chance.

While I am thrown periodically, I find Dr. Yanofsky's advice about surrounding myself with friends and family who are positive and encouraging holds the key to surmounting the mountain of doubt that sometimes lurks in front of me.

Also, how beneficial it is for us all not to try to suppress our feelings, thinking it will make adjusting and dealing with MS easier. Open, candid communication is what is needed. It is truly an important goal to try to achieve, as it means increased peace of mind for us individually.

While this site is massive in size, it is something you can go back and read in measured doses. A newly diagnosed person will want to start at the very beginning of the site so that you avail yourself to the encouragement offered by the doctor.

I find myself discovering something helpful every time I make the time to look back on his site. I hope it proves just as beneficial for you.


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    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      10 years ago from Delaware

      You are most welcome!

    • Rastamermaid profile image


      10 years ago from Universe

      Very informative hub.

      Thanks so much for sharing!


    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      10 years ago from Delaware

      It is great that the list keeps growing isn't it Tammy? Thanks for reading the interview!

    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 

      10 years ago

      Wow I didn't know there were so many drugs out there to help MS patients. Saw your interview in the newsletter...Way to go!

    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      11 years ago from Delaware

      Thanks for the compliment Mickey!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      11 years ago

      It's a fantastic hub Jen. This was a lot of work. You are a super person. Thank you Dear!

    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      11 years ago from Delaware

      Thanks wrenfrost, appreciate you dropping by.

    • wrenfrost56 profile image


      11 years ago from U.K.

      Great hub, very informative. I am sure this will be a great resource for those that need it. :)

    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      11 years ago from Delaware

      That is very kind of you Freida, thanks very much. I hope it reaches others who are looking for such information.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      11 years ago from Southern California

      This is such an informative and educational hub, that even if you don't have MS, it is a must read, because you could use it to possible help someone you know. I am absolutely going to Digg this one.

    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      11 years ago from Delaware

      Thanks so much AARON.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      A great informative list you have given. Well done. Enjoy.

    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      11 years ago from Delaware

      You do the same fishtiger, I'm appreciate your comment!

    • fishtiger58 profile image


      11 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      Another excellent hub Jen, I do so love to read your stuff. Have a most wonderful day.

    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      11 years ago from Delaware

      What a nice comment to read Ladyjane! Thank you so much.

    • ladyjane1 profile image


      11 years ago from Texas

      you write such good hubs chock full of info. Thanks.

    • Jen's Solitude profile imageAUTHOR

      Jen's Solitude 

      11 years ago from Delaware

      Good Morning HealthyHanna and Kath! I am so pleased you both found this resource as valuable as I did.

      Unfortunately it has been given a duplicate content tag, but I figured I would take the hit because the info is so helpful.

    • profile image

      Kath Ibbetson 

      11 years ago

      Once again a brilliant page from you. I will be sending my list to visit this page.


    • HealthyHanna profile image


      11 years ago from Utah

      WOW! this is great! Thanks for the resource.


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