New research suggests that it may be safe to stop taking disease-modifying medication if your MS has been stable for an extended period of time. In a recent study published in the the journal Arq Neuropsiquiatr, researchers in Brazil followed a group of 40 patients with relapsing-remitting MS for whom their disease had been clinically and radiologically stable for more than five years and who voluntarily chose to stop using disease-modifying therapy.
Patients included in the study had continuously used one of the following immunomodulatory disease-modifying drugs - Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif, Copaxone - for more than 5 years and up to 14 years. To be included in the study, participants had to be disease-free for at least 5 years while on therapy. Disease-free activity was defined as no clinical relapse, no sustained increase in disability as measured by EDSS (expanded disability status scale) score, and no new gadolinium-enhancing or active lesions as seen on MRI scans.
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MS and Medication Decisions: Can I stop taking my disease-modifying drug and still be okay?