Choosing your treatment
Whether you’re newly diagnosed or more experienced with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS), living with this disease can be unpredictable. On top of that, you have to choose to start or stay with a treatment, which is a big decision. That’s why it is crucial to do your homework on different treatment options before even stepping into your healthcare provider’s office. When you and your healthcare provider are discussing what you want out of your treatment, you may want to keep these 3 important goals in mind:
slow disability progression
reduce rate of flare-ups
reduce number of new or enlarging brain lesions*
Both you and your healthcare provider need to find an RMS treatment option that is right for you.
*The exact correlation between MRI findings and the current or future clinical status of patients, including disability progression, is unknown.
All RMS treatments have an effect on the immune system, your body’s natural defense system against harmful substances such as viruses, fungi, bacteria, toxins, and foreign particles. In a person living with MS, the immune system attacks myelin, the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers, and interrupts communication between your brain and the rest of the body.
Although treatment may help reduce the frequency of relapses, it could also make you more vulnerable to many of the illnesses or medical challenges from which your immune system usually protects you. That’s why considering both safety and efficacy is important.
Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) has a well-established safety profile, with more than 20 years of combined clinical trial data and real-world patient experience. In fact, over 140,000 people have been prescribed Rebif in the US since it was first approved by the FDA in 2002. Common side effects of Rebif include flu-like symptoms, injection-site reactions (like redness, pain and swelling, color changes and drainage of fluid), stomach pain, and changes in liver blood tests.* The safety and efficacy of treatment with Rebif beyond 2 years have not been established.
* Common adverse events have been consistent across PRISMS and EVIDENCE clinical trials.
“ My doctor and I discussed the benefits and risks of Rebif, and we felt it was the best decision for me. ”
Rebif Ambassador, living with relapsing MS Rebif Ambassadors are sponsored by EMD Serono, Inc.
When you are discussing treatment options such as Rebif with your healthcare provider, it is also important to consider the risks and benefits of each medication. Everyone living with RMS is different and may respond to treatment differently. Likewise, every RMS treatment has its own potential benefits and potential side effects that you and your healthcare provider should talk about.
Some treatment issues or side effects you may notice right away. Other issues may not happen immediately or may not concern you at first but could become serious later on. Your healthcare provider should check your progress on treatment and monitor for side effects. For example, Rebif patients will have regular blood tests to check blood cell counts and liver function.
Together, you and your healthcare provider can decide what the best option is for you now and in your future.
Now you know some important considerations to discuss with your healthcare provider when choosing a treatment.