MS is treated with medication, which is known as disease-modifying therapy or DMT. The purpose of treatment for MS is to slow down the progress of the disease. Treatment is different from symptom management, which deals with effects of MS-related neurological damage on other parts of the body and mind.
There is strong evidence that disease-modifying therapy for MS reduces the number and severity of relapses and slows down the worsening of disability, particularly if initiated early in the course of the disease.
In Saskatchewan, most DMTs are eligible for exceptional drug status (EDS). Prescribing physicians submit the EDS application after you and your physician have decided if a DMT is appropriate for you. A series of steps determines the final cost (if any) to the patient. Your MS care team and the Saskatchewan MS Drugs Program staff can assist with this process.
DMTs can be quite complicated. There are many resources to help you learn more about DMT indications, side effects and funding options. MS nurses are located at the MS Clinic in Saskatoon and are knowledgeable about MS and DMTs. The Saskatchewan MS Drugs Program nurse educator is also available by phone to all residents of Saskatchewan for MS general information and advice about MS drugs.
To contact the Saskatchewan MS Drugs Program Nurse Educator, phone 306-655-8673/ Fax 306-655-8404, or call the MS Drugs Program toll free at 1-866-655-7966. To contact the MS Clinic, phone 306 655 7742.
There are currently
few drug therapies that can affect the course of progressive forms of
MS. Non-drug treatment focuses on strengthening people with progressive
MS to withstand the effects of the disease.
Rehabilitation resources are particularly important for helping people with progressive MS to maintain physical function.
Progressive MS often goes along with stiffness or weakness in legs that
starts out causing minor problems with leisure activities or climbing
stairs, but over time can get worse and interfere with basic mobility
and activities of daily living. Starting from the time of diagnosis,
rehabilitation professionals (such as physiatrists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists) can be involved in developing wellness and
conditioning strategies to promote and maintain health, reduce fatigue,
and help you function optimally at home and at work.