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ALL ABOUT MS Treatment (Part 8)

Treatment

Since research has shown that MS is an autoimmune disease, two basic approaches, immunosuppression (weakening of the immune response of the organism) and immunomodulation (changing the immune response) are used in the treatment.
Numerous studies have shown that in the treatment of MS, the following drugs have success: interferon beta (betaferon, rebif, avonex), glatiramer acetate (copaxone), natalizumab (tysabri), mitoxantrone (novantrone) and some other cytostatics.


Interferon beta
Interferon beta is a protein that is a natural component of the human organism and is created by the cells of our immune system during defense reactions to external agents, primarily viruses. However, the most important effect this protein has is the so-called. Immunomodulatory effect: interferon beta promotes processes that mitigate the effects and slow down the ankle of multiple sclerosis, while the opposite inhibits it. The exact mechanism by which the interferon beta acts therapeutically in MS is not known.

The recombinant interferon beta is a synthetic interferon beta obtained by genetic engineering and which is identical in nature or very similar to natural interferon. The process of producing this drug is very complicated and expensive, which is why the price of this medicine is high.

There are two types of recombinant interferon beta: interferon beta 1b (Betaferon) and interferon beta1a (Rebif and Avonex).

Interferon beta is not a cure that can cure MS, but can reduce the number of exacerbations of the disease by 30%, reduce the severity of disease worsening by 50%, significantly prolong the period when the disease stays (remission), significantly slow down the creation of new changes in magnetic resonance Brain and slow down the process of brain mass loss (brain atrophy).

The broadest therapeutic area has Betaferon that can be used in people after the first clinical indication suggesting multiple sclerosis, in people with relapse-reactive disease, and in people with a secondary-progressive form of the disease.

Betaferon is administered in a dose of 8 million international units (MIJ) every other day, in the form of subcutaneous injections (subcutaneous).

Rebif is administered at a dose of 6 or 12 MIJ, three times a week, also in the form of subcutaneous injections.

Avonex is given once a week at a dose of 6 MJ, intramuscularly.
The best effects have been shown to have high doses of interferon that are more commonly administered (Betaferon, Rebif).

The experience of more than 10 years of interferon beta administration has shown that the drug is completely safe and that the side effects that occur in most patients are mild and transient, but it is essential that the patient be informed of how to overcome them. The most common side effects are fever-like conditions (fever, trembling, smallness, muscle and joint pain) that occur several hours after administration of the drug and may last for several hours, changes in the injection site (redness, islet, pain), transient deterioration in neurological condition, changes in laboratory findings (elevation of liver enzymes, decrease in leukocytes and anemia), menstrual cycle disorders, more depression, skin rash and allergic reaction.

A situation similar to that of the flu usually occurs at the beginning of therapy, and it is recommended that treatment with low doses of interferon beta be started with analgesics for 4 hours before, at the time and 4 hours after administration. Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen) are recommended from analgesics. The local reaction at the site of interferon beta administration is best alleviated by changing the site of the application and the drug is taken warm at room temperature.
Medication should not be used in pregnancy if there is hypersensitivity to interferon beta or human albumin in patients with severe depressive disorders or suicidal attempts in patients with severe hepatic impairment and in patients with poorly controlled epilepsy.
Training patients for preparation and self-administration as well as counseling on treating adverse effects of therapy are carried out in specialized centers for the fight against multiple sclerosis.

In the event of a worsening of the disease, pulse therapy with methylprednisolone (Lemod-Solu) is applied, and interferon beta therapy is not interrupted.
Interferon beta therapy is long-standing and should not be started or discontinued without consulting with the doctor.

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