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Diagnosed with relapsing MS. Which medicine should I continue among prescribed medicine?

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My son has just been diagnosed with remitting and relapsing MS. He was given a list of drugs and told to pick which ones he wanted to go on. He asked for my help. I'm asking for yours. Of the following drugs which would you suggest are the most beneficial-Avonex, Betaseron, Extavia, Rebif, Copaxone, Sampyra?
Posted Thu, 14 Feb 2013 in Multiple Sclerosis
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Disease modifying therapies like the ones you have mentioned above have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of relapses.
They reduce the accumulation of lesions in the brain and spinal cord.

Avonex and rebif are two formulations of the same drug and betaseron and extavia are also different formulations of the same drug.
Avonex/rebif are interferon beta 1 a and betaseron/extavia are interferon beta 1b.
As mentioned earlier, they act by modifying the immune system.

In the presence of uncontrolled depression, which can occur in this illness, interferons should be used with caution since depression is one their side effets.

In a study looking at the interferon beta 1b ( betaseron/extavia), the relapse rate decreased by 34% over a 2 yr period.It was also associated with a decrease in the progression of the disease (35% progressed in those who received the drug and 45% progressed in those who did not receive it).

Avonex was associated with a decrease in relapses of 29% and progression of 21% compared with those who did not have the drug.
Patients receiving the higher dose of rebif , experienced a 33% reduction in relapse rate.
In a study comparing the avonex with the rebif- the patients on rebif had less lesions though more injection site reactions, problems with liver function but they did better than those on the avonex.

Copaxone demonstrated a reduction in relapses of 29% over 2 yrs but was not shown to decrease progression of the illness, as a result the FDA has not approved for decreasing disease progression. It would be used , however, if there is a history of uncontrolled depression.

Ampyra is indicated to improve walking ability in patients with MS, it is taken with other MS drugs. It does not affect the progression of the illness or change the course of the disease. Your son would use this along with other MS medication if he has issues with walking.

Studies comparing the two types of interferon has suggested that there are not significant differences between the beta 1b and beta 1 a.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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