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Multiple Sclerosis

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There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, but a variety of treatments are available that may be used to manage the condition. The goals of MS treatment are to slow the progression of the disease, relieve symptoms, and minimize the effects of acute attacks.

  • Several medications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help reduce the severity of the disease and slow progression. These are useful for many people with relapsing forms of MS.
  • Health practitioners may prescribe corticosteroids for short periods of time to help reduce inflammation and shorten the duration of relapses.
  • Other medications may be used to address specific symptoms, such as bladder and bowel problems, tremors, dizziness, pain, and problems walking, to name a few. Fatigue and depression sometimes associated with MS, for example, may be treated with appropriate antidepressants.

For more on specific medications that may be prescribed, see the Treatments page on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society web site.

MS does not significantly decrease the lifespan of those who have it, but it can frequently and intermittently affect quality of life. People with MS usually work with a team of professionals who help support and monitor their condition and address their changing needs. Current MS research is directed toward understanding the cause of MS in hopes of developing better drugs to treat, if not cure or prevent the disease.

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