- New symptoms appear or old symptoms of MS become worse
- The episode of new or worsening symptoms lasts for more than 24 hours
- Symptoms of the relapse do not occur within 30 days of a previous relapse
- There is no other explanation for the symptoms
However, every relapse is an important event to acknowledge and report. Even if a patient does not need or want steroids, it is recommended that their fluctuating symptoms be documented in their medical record. Often, treatment decisions are made by examining your past medical history, including the number, frequency, and severity of relapses the patient has had. Although no disease-modifying therapy (DMT) has been shown to be 100 percent effective in preventing relapses, experiencing too many relapses (even small ones) may indicate that the patient’s DMT is not working as well as it should.
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When to Report MS Relapses to Your Doctor