Treatments

There are many different ways to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), and you might find some treatments work better than others. Developing a plan with your healthcare team is the best strategy to manage your MS, including any medications.

Medications for MS fall broadly into three groups: those that reduce the risk of relapses and disease progression (also known as disease modifying therapies or DMTs), those that treat an active relapse or those that can help to ease specific symptoms. The types of medications used will depend on a number of factors, including the type of MS and your individual circumstances.

Some available treatments include:

  • DMTs, also called immunotherapies, which work by modifying the activity of the immune system to slow the frequency and severity of attacks to the central nervous system. These medications are most often prescribed for people with relapsing-remitting MS, where evidence has demonstrated the greatest impact.
  • Corticosteroid medication, which is used to reduce symptoms from an acute relapse, by easing inflammation at the affected site.
  • Medications to help with specific symptoms of MS, such as treating incontinence, spasticity, pain or depression.

It can be frustrating if treatments aren’t right for you or don’t work as well as you’d like. If this happens, talk to your neurologist, MS Nurse or GP to discuss other options. It’s also important to let your healthcare team know if you’re using alternative or complementary treatments alongside your drug treatments, to ensure that there are no interactions or possible side effects from their inclusion.

Read the latest information on DMTs for MS and COVID-19.

MS Australia does not recommend any specific treatment for people living with MS. Decisions about any treatments, taking into consideration the potential benefits and side effects for each individual’s circumstances, should be made in careful consultation with the person’s neurologist.

Avonex®

Administration route:Intramuscular injection (injection into muscle)
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Betaferon®

Administration route:Subcutaneous injection (injection under skin)
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Botox®

Administration route:Intramuscular injection (injection into muscle)
Forms of MS used for:All forms
Available on PBS:Yes

Copaxone®

Administration route:Subcutaneous injection (injection under skin)
Forms of MS used for:All forms
Available on PBS:Yes for relapsing remitting MS

Fampyra®

Administration route:Oral tablet
Forms of MS used for:All forms
Available on PBS:No

Gilenya®

Administration route:Oral capsule
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Kesimpta®

Administration route:Subcutaneous injection (injection under skin)
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Lemtrada®

Administration route:Intravenous infusion (into vein)
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Mavenclad®

Administration route:Oral tablet
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Mayzent®

Administration route:Oral tablet
Forms of MS used for:Secondary progressive MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Ocrevus®

Administration route:Intravenous infusion (into vein)
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS and primary progressive MS
Available on PBS:Yes for relapsing remitting MS

Plegridy®

Administration route:Subcutaneous injection (injection under skin)
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Rebif®

Administration route:Subcutaneous injection (injection under skin)
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Sativex®

Administration route:Oral spray
Forms of MS used for:All forms
Available on PBS:No

Tecfidera®

Administration route:Oral capsule
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Teriflunomide

Administration route:Oral tablet
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Tysabri®

Administration route:Intravenous infusion (into vein)
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Zeposia®

Administration route:Oral capsule
Forms of MS used for:Relapsing remitting MS
Available on PBS:Yes

Generic Medications

The MS treatment landscape is continuously evolving and there are an increasing number of generic DMTs available for people with MS.

Generic medications contain the same active ingredient as the brand name medication and are to be taken in the same dose and frequency as the brand name medication.

Generic medications can become available when a brand-name medication’s patent protections have expired. The original brand product has a certain patent life and after this ends, other manufacturers can apply for a license to manufacture and market a generic version. These generic versions must meet the same standards of quality, safety and effectiveness as the original brand.

For MS medications, if the medicinal product (medicine) is listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), the cost to someone living with MS for the generic brand medicine, is likely to be the same as the original brand name version.

The choice is yours whether you are happy to go with the generic or brand name version of the medication. Speak to your neurologist, MS Nurse or GP if you have any questions or concerns.

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MS Treatments