The importance of adhering to MS treatment

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive, and disabling disease. Sticking to your treatment plan is the best strategy to manage MS. Continuing your medications as recommended by your doctor, whether they are disease-modifying medications or medications to manage specific MS symptoms, plays a large role in that plan.

But why is adhering to MS treatment so important?

MS experts recommend that anyone who has been diagnosed with MS start treatment as soon as possible with the right treatment. Their recommendations are based on studies that conclude that starting treatment early with the right medication helps slow the progression of MS and increase the chances of stopping or delaying disability. Research has also shown that permanent damage to the brain and nerves can occur even at the early stages of MS and before a person experiences any symptoms.

By starting your treatment plan early and sticking to it, you will get the most benefit out of your medication. These benefits may include the following:

  • slowing the progression of physical disability
  • reducing the frequency and severity of relapses
  • reducing the number of hospitalizations for MS
  • decreasing the need for corticosteroid medications
  • slowing the development of new brain lesions as shown on an MRI scan
  • improving quality of life

The treatment plan that you and your health care provider decided on may also include eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, rehabilitation, managing stress effectively, and other complementary therapies. Be sure also to continue these as recommended as part of your overall plan to keep MS under your control.

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