A multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis can impact every facet of your life. If you have been diagnosed recently, you likely have many questions about how it will affect your life and what treatment looks like. Memorial Hermann Specialty Pharmacy can help answer those questions.

What is multiple sclerosis?

MS is an unpredictable disease whose cause is not yet known. MS creates an abnormal response in your body’s immune system and causes it to attack the central nerve system. It specifically attacks the fatty substance called myelin that surrounds the fibers in your nerves and the nerves themselves. As the disease progresses, more nerve damage occurs, causing neurological symptoms that can vary depending on how often you experience episodes or attacks.   

How do MS drugs work?

Drugs for multiple sclerosis work to keep your immune system from attacking the myelin sheaths around your nerves. These medications can be delivered in multiple ways, depending on disease progression. They may be taken orally, injected or delivered through intravenous (IV) infusion.

What are possible side effects of the medication?

The possible side effects will depend on the medication your physician prescribes, but they may range from bothersome to life-threatening. As a general rule, medications for multiple sclerosis work by curbing your immune system. This means you may be at an increased risk for infection. Additionally, if you are using a medication that must be injected, you may also experience reactions at the injection site. 

Some medications can harm other organs in your body, like your liver. However, you will not necessarily feel these side effects. Your doctor or healthcare provider may ask you to have labs drawn to ensure the medication is not injuring other organs in your body. 

How effective are current MS treatments?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis currently. The main role of treatment is to mitigate disease progression and try to contain symptoms. In addition, treatment effectiveness may vary from person to person due to side effects, interactions with current medications and other factors. It is not uncommon to quickly progress from taking oral medication to an infusion medicine.

How can Memorial Hermann Specialty Pharmacy help with MS treatment?

Many MS medications are known as limited distribution drugs (LDD). In these cases, medications are only available through a small number of specialty pharmacies. In addition, the medications are expensive and have specific storage and administration requirements. Memorial Hermann Specialty Pharmacy is here to help you navigate through these obstacles.

Whether you have concerns about paying for the medication, taking the medication or managing your multiple sclerosis, we offer extensive counseling before and during treatment. We work with you to create a personalized care plan to help you get the best outcome from your multiple sclerosis therapy. We continually work to stay abreast of any possible issues and adjust your care plan based on changes in medication or disease progression.

As a fully integrated part of the Memorial Hermann Health System, we prioritize making sure to provide you with the information you need. Electronic health records allow vital information about your treatment to be communicated quickly and simply. 

What other resources are available?

Your best resource is always your doctor or healthcare provider. Talk to them about your diagnosis. Community engagement and outreach can be helpful for MS patients, which is why you also may want to reach out to the National MS Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America.

Schedule a consultation with a Memorial Hermann pharmacist today

Multiple sclerosis may feel like an overwhelming diagnosis, but we can help. Memorial Hermann Specialty Pharmacy believes we are responsible for the health of our patients. That is why we do our best to continue the extensive support you receive from the rest of Memorial Hermann. We can help you with unparalleled pharmaceutical care in the Greater Houston area. Call us today at 1-833-234-MHSP (6477) to learn how we can help lower the costs of your MS treatment.