The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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New Drugs for Multiple Sclerosis

In recent years, several new drugs have been approved by the FDA for use in multiple sclerosis (MS),1-4 and many others are in the pipeline. Most recently, teriflunomide (Aubagio – Genzyme) became the second oral drug to be approved by the FDA for treatment of relapsing forms of MS.

STANDARD TREATMENT — About 85% of patients with multiple sclerosis present with the relapsing-remitting form of the disease, and about half of them convert to secondary progressive MS within 10 to 20 years. Treatment usually includes various drugs for managing symptoms such as fatigue, depression and pain, and corticosteroids for acute exacerbations. Interferon beta and glatiramer acetate, which must be injected, are commonly used for first-line treatment of the disease. They can reduce clinical relapse rates by about 30% and decrease brain lesions seen on ... more      

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