Many of the DMTs detailed below are prescribed for people with relapsing forms of MS, including relapsing-remitting MS, as well as secondary-progressive MS and progressive-relapsing MS in those people still having relapses. Select DMTs have also been approved to delay a second exacerbation in people who have been diagnosed with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS).
So far, no DMTs have proven to be effective in progressive forms of MS without relapses.
- Aubagio (teriflunomide, 7 mg and 14 mg; pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor) is taken once daily by mouth for relapsing forms of MS; approved in 2012. Sanofi-Genzyme: aubagio.com, msonetoone.com
- Gilenya (fingolimod, 0.5 mg; sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator) is taken once every day by mouth for relapsing forms of MS; approved in 2010. Novartis: gilenya.com
- Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate, 240 mg; Nrf2 activator) is taken twice daily by mouth for relapsing forms of MS; approved in 2013. Biogen Idec: tecfidera.com, msactivesource.com
- Copaxone (glatiramer acetate, 20 mg/mL and 40 mg/mL; synthetic polypeptide) is taken by subcutaneous injection every day (20 mg dose) or three days each week (40 mg dose) for CIS and relapsing forms of MS; approved in 1996; auto-injector available. (Generic options may become available soon.) Teva Neuroscience: copaxone.com, sharedsolutions.com
- Avonex (interferon beta-1a, 30 mcg/.5 mL) is taken once weekly by intramuscular injection for CIS and relapsing forms of MS; approved in 1996; auto-injector and dose titration available. Biogen Idec: avonex.com, msactivesource.com
- Betaseron (interferon beta-1b, 0.25 mg/mL) is taken every other day by subcutaneous injection for CIS and relapsing forms of MS; approved in 1993. Solution must be mixed before injection. Bayer HealthCare: betaseron.com
- Extavia (interferon beta-1b, 0.25 mg/mL) is taken every other day by subcutaneous injection for CIS and relapsing forms of MS; approved in 2009. Solution must be mixed before injection; dose titration available. Novartis: extavia.com
- Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a, 0.125 mg/.5 mL) is taken every 14 days by subcutaneous injection for relapsing forms of MS; approved in 2014; auto-injector available. Biogen Idec: plegridy.com, msactivesource.com
- Rebif (interferon beta-1a, 22 mcg/.5 mL and 44 mcg/.5 mL) is taken three days each week by subcutaneous injection for relapsing forms of MS: approved in 2002; auto-injector and dose titration pack available. EMD Serono/Pfizer: rebif.com, mslifelines.com
- Lemtrada (alemtuzumab, 12 mg; CD52 monoclonal antibody) is delivered by intravenous infusion on five consecutive days, followed by another three consecutive days one year later, for relapsing forms of MS and generally reserved for people with MS who have failed other treatments; approved in 2014. Sanofi-Genzyme: lemtrada.com
- Novantrone (mitoxantrone, 140 mg; antineoplastic anthracenedione) is delivered by intravenous infusion once every 3 months with a lifetime maximum limit of 8-12 doses over 2-3 years for worsening relapsing-remitting MS, progressive-relapsing MS, or secondary-progressive MS; approved in 2000. Available as generic drug since 2006. EMD Serono/Immunex Corp.
- Tysabri (natalizumab, 300 mg; α4β1-integrin monoclonal antibody) is delivered by intravenous infusion once every four weeks at a registered infusion center for relapsing forms of MS; approved in 2006. Must not be combined with other disease-modifying therapies. Biogen Idec: tysabri.com, msactivesource.com
If one DMT doesn’t work for you, or is intolerable, discuss other options with your neurologist.
MS Patients Have 12 Disease-Modifying Therapeutic Choices