Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe
First, let me start off by apologizing for it taking me SOOOOO entirely long to write something new! I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how hectic this summer has been for me, and it’s been crazy hot outside here in Central Texas, as I’m sure it has been for so many of you as well. Let me just put it out there, that I have enjoyed this summer, but I cannot WAIT for the kids to get back to school lol.
So, back to the title of this article, what in the world am I talking about for starters? Well, let me clarify that. I’ve had a lot of people message me and ask me if they should be on medication to help manage their MS, which medication they should be on to manage their MS, so on and so forth, you get the idea. So I thought that this would be a good topic to write about. I’m sure it’s been written about in the past, but this is a topic that I am VERY passionate about, and I wanted to give my opinion on it.
So let me start off by saying first off, that I’m not going to give you medical advice. I’m also not going to tell you what you SHOULD and SHOULD NOT do. But I can tell you what I WOULD do, in your position. Or what I have done, in my case.
I know there are many people out there who are not even taking DMD/DMT’s to manage their MS, and that is completely your/their choice. That is just not the choice that I have made for myself. As we all know, each of our disease courses is different and no two cases are the exact same. Not one medicine is going to work for every patient, so on and so forth. So for starters, if you do decide to be on a medication, you need to decide which one is right for you.
There are many factors that will come in to play on how you should, or should I say how I would go about choosing a medication for myself.
(You can click here to view the medications and information about them.)
So lets start off with the obvious, right? What everyone is going to look at first… how it’s administered. Is it a daily shot, it is a oral-pill, is it a so-many-times-a-week shot, monthly infusion, etc. That seems to be the popular way most patients are choosing their medication these days.
Okay, so you have looked at how the medication is administered, next is the safety of the medication. This is looking at the safety of the medication, the side effects, any warnings that may come with the medication, etc. This is obviously a VERY IMPORTANT step that needs to be taken into account.
Okay, so what’s next? You’ve looked at administration and safety/side effects? What else could there be? Well… I haven’t run in to this problem, but it’s always good to check and make sure that there are no issues with the medication you are interested in taking interacting with any current medications you are taking for anything else.
Now, the dreaded COST of the medicine, cause of course, there is going to be the cost of medicine… that might take a bit to find out what it will be with your insurance, but you should be able to get an estimate. Also, each DMD/DMT company most likely offers a financial support program of some sort that your neurologist can point you in the right direction to, or of course, many of the MS Resources.
So what’s next? You think you’re done? Most would think so… But, this is where I get… annoyed? I wouldn’t really say annoyed… maybe just disappointed that patients aren’t even aware or even know HOW to find the information that they really SHOULD be able to EASILY search for when it comes to the search on which medication they want to start with. The science of how the medication works, the relapse reduction rate, etc. I know… Science… My son loves it, me… not so much. But, I will say this… It’s good information to know when it’s time to choose a medication when managing your MS. This is also information you can ask your neurologist.
As you can see this is a very passionate topic for me, sorry if I babbled too much, but I really want to let the patients and their loved ones know that there are more things to know about the medications you are choosing, when it comes to that time.
Also, if you have gone through medication after medication and you haven’t found anything that works… you aren’t the only one, don’t ever forget that. Just remember that there ARE things being studied in the MS Pipeline that look VERY promising for MS Patients, even for those with more progressive forms of MS. You can see what I’m talking about by clicking here. Be sure to check back about MS Research often!
As for the topic about medicating and not medicating, choosing meds about symptoms and using alternative treatments are topics I will get to on the next few articles in the near future!
Wishing everyone the best! Try to stay cool!