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Managing Common MS Treatment Side Effects

Posted Jan 29 2011 12:00am

All medications have side effects. They may be unpleasant to deal with, but there are ways you may be able to handle them.

Some medications have rare but serious side effects. With these medications, a potential side effect may be severe but the likelihood of experiencing that side effect is very small.

One important thing to remember is that staying on treatment is important in helping you manage your MS. If you aren’t happy with your treatment, talk to your doctor about different options before stopping treatment.

Choosing your MS medication is one of the most important decisions you and your doctor will make. That's why it's so important to weigh the potential benefits and risks of each MS therapy before making your decision. You may find that not taking the most effective therapy for you is more of a risk than the potential side effects of your MS therapy.

With any medication there is the potential for rare and serious side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider about any questions you may have about side effects.
If you experience injection-site reactions such as swelling, redness, and pain, try:
Rotating your injection site-don't go back to a site for two weeks Leaving a healthy amount of room between your injection sites Placing something cold on the injection site before and after injection Avoiding using perfumes or creams near the injection site Washing your hands and the injection site with soap before injection
Unfortunately, some injection-site reactions are more severe and can't be treated, such as lipoatrophy (loss of fat cells that may cause a permanent dent at the injection site—there is no treatment available for this) and necrosis (destruction and death of the tissue surrounding the sites of injection).
For flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, and aches), talk to your healthcare provider, who may recommend the following:
Over-the-counter medicine for pain and fever-reduction Taking your injections at night to sleep through the effects Schedule your injections over the weekend so you can relax

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