MS Treatments

Although there is currently no known cure for multiple sclerosis there are several treatment options available to slow the progression of MS, help reduce relapses and manage specific symptoms.

Some of the medications available include:

  • Medications to slow progression of MS
    Disease modifying therapies, also known as immunotherapies, are used to treat multiple sclerosis. They can modify the long-term course of MS by slowing progression and reducing the risk of relapses.
  • Medications for treating a relapse
    Steroid medication (such as methylprednisolone) can reduce the severity and duration of symptoms caused by a relapse by treating the inflammation. If required, they are only used over very short time periods.
  • Symptom management medications
  • There are therapies available for treating specific symptoms of MS including muscle stiffness, fatigue and incontinence. They do not alter the long-term course of MS.

We recommend speaking to your neurologist or doctor for advice on which medical treatments might be best for you. Our MS nurses can also provide detailed information about the treatment options and provide ongoing support in managing your MS.


Disease modifying therapies

Aubagio® (teriflunomide)

Oral tablet
Aubagio® (for RRMS) has been shown to reduce the frequency of relapses and slow progression of MS. It works by stopping certain immune cells involved in the damage associated with MS from multiplying.


Avonex (interferon beta-1a)

Injection
Avonex® (for RRMS) has been shown to slow down activity and progression of MS. It works by reducing both inflammation and the immune response that is attacking the body’s own myelin.


Betaferon® (interferon beta-1b)

Injection
Betaferon® (for RRMS) has been shown to slow down activity and progression of MS. It works by reducing both inflammation and the immune response that is attacking the body’s own myelin.


Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate)

Injection
Copaxone® (for RRMS) has been shown to reduce activity, frequency of relapses and progression of MS. It works by diverting an immune attack away from the myelin.


Gilenya® (fingolimod)

Oral capsule
Gilenya® (for RRMS) has been shown to reduce frequency of relapses and slow progression of MS in adults and children aged 10 years and above. It works by preventing certain types of white blood cells from damaging nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.


Lemtrada® (alemtuzumab)

Intravenous infusion
Lemtrada® (for RRMS) has been shown to reduce frequency of relapses and slow progression of MS in adults with active MS. It works by reducing the impact of MS on the nervous system by binding to and killing immune cells involved when the immune system attacks myelin.


Mavenclad® (Cladribine)

Oral tablets
Mavenclad® (for RRMS) is used to reduce inflammation in the nervous system caused by MS. It has been shown to reduce relapses, disease activity in the brain and progression of MS. It works by reducing the number of certain types of white blood cells, thought to be involved when the immune system attacks the myelin around nerve cells.


Mayzent® (siponomod)

Oral tablet
Mayzent® (for SPMS) is used to reduce immune attacks on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It works by decreasing the number of a certain type of white blood cells circulating in the blood and reaching the brain.


Ocrevus® (ocrelizumab)

Intravenous infusion
Ocrevus® (for RRMS and PPMS) is used to slow progression of MS and reduce relapses by attacking and destroying specific targets in the immune system thought to be involved when the immune system attacks the myelin around nerve cells.


Plegridy® (peginterferon beta-1a)

Injection
Plegridy® (for RRMS) has been shown to slow down activity and progression in MS. It works by reducing both inflammation and the immune response that is attacking the body’s own myelin.


Rebif® (interferon beta-1a)

Injection
Rebif® (for RRMS) has been shown to slow down activity and progression in MS, while reducing frequency of relapses. It works by helping to regulate the immune system to reduce attacks on myelin.


Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate)

Oral capsule
Tecfidera® (for RRMS) can reduce frequency of relapses and slow the progression of MS. It works by reducing the inflammation and protecting nerve cells from damage caused when the immune system attacks myelin.


Tysabri® (natalizumab)

Infusion
Tysabri® (for RRMS) is used to slow progression of MS, reduce frequency of relapses and disease activity. It works by preventing immune cells in the blood stream from passing from the blood into the central nervous system where they can damage nerves.


Zeposia® (Ozanimod)

Zeposia® is an oral treatment for RRMS, included on the March 2020 Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) agenda, however the PBAC deferred making a recommendation for this treatment as the outcome of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) registration process for ozanimod was not yet available. (For more information about ozanimod, please visit: https://msra.org.au/news/ozanimod-shows-promise-in...)


Symptom management

There are various medications that can help with managing different MS symptoms. It is important to discuss options with your doctor or MS Nurse to find out if they are suitable for you.

Learn more


Lifestyle and self-management

Many people with MS also find that eating well, exercise and mindfulness have a positive impact on the management of their symptoms. The use of aids and equipment can also help. Seek advice from your neurologist, doctor or MS nurse about which self-management strategies might be most suitable for you.

Learn more