Treating Multiple Sclerosis With IV SteroidsCan It Help With Symptoms? Multiple Sclerosis at Work: Everyday Health Neurology Multiple Anavar cost. Though steroids can help with an MS relapse, they come with the risk of side effects. Here's what to watch out for.
6 Side Effects of MS Steroid Treatment | Everyday Health
Steroids also known as corticosteroids may be used to treat relapses in multiple sclerosis. Methylprednisolone is the steroid most often prescribed. Not all relapses need treatment as, in most cases, the symptoms will gradually improve on their own. If the symptoms of your relapse are causing significant problems, such as affecting your eyesight or making walking difficult , your MS team or GP may suggest that you have a short course of high dose steroids.
They should explain the benefits and potential side effects of taking steroids so that you can decide together on the best course of action in your particular situation. Steroids can help the symptoms of your relapse improve more quickly.
Methylprednisolone can be taken as tablets or by intravenous infusion drip. The recommended treatment courses are:. The side effects of methylprednisolone are usually mild and will go away quickly when you finish the treatment course. The most common side effects include a metallic taste, indigestion, difficulty sleeping, mood swings or altered mood and flushing of the face.
Steroids also known as corticosteroids may be used to treat a relapse in MS. Methylprednisolone is the recommended steroid. Steroids work best if you begin taking them as soon as possible after the start of your relapse. Once your MS team or GP has confirmed that you are having a relapse , they should discuss your symptoms with you and decide whether you need treatment for the relapse itself or for the symptoms you are experiencing.
Each relapse is different and in most cases your symptoms will gradually improve on their own so you may not need to take steroids. Your MS team or GP should explain the benefits and potential side effects of taking steroids so that you can decide together on the best course of action in your particular situation.
Before starting steroids, it is important that your MS team or GP check for signs of an infection, which should include a test for a urinary tract infection. If you are unwell, for example if you have a cold, a bladder infection or a stomach bug, you will often find that your MS symptoms get worse. Once you have recovered from the cold or treated the infection, your symptoms should start to improve.
Checking for an infection is also important because steroids can make infections worse. You should also tell your doctor if you are diabetic taking steroids can affect your sugar levels or if there is a chance you may be pregnant. Methylprednisolone is usually supplied as tablets containing mg of the medicine. You will need to take five tablets a day for five days in a row. You need to take all five tablets at one time in the morning with food and they should not be taken as individual tablets throughout the day.
Methylprednisolone can irritate the lining of your stomach and cause side effects like heartburn or indigestion. Taking the pills with food can help to reduce this. You may be prescribed other medicines to protect the lining of your stomach this is often omeprazole or ranitidine.
Methylprednisolone can also cause difficulties with sleeping so taking the pills in the morning will help to minimise this. If you are unable to contact your MS team, you may need to bring this to the attention of any health professional who offers you steroid treatment. Some MS services produce a card with details of the recommended treatment for a relapse that you can show other health professionals.
Not everyone experiences side effects when taking steroids but some people do. In the short-term, the side effects of steroids are usually mild and will go away soon after you finish the treatment course. However, steroids can make some people feel quite unwell, so you should always make sure you discuss the benefits and potential side effects of taking steroids with your MS team or GP before you start a course of treatment.
A few people may experience quite severe changes in mood, from feeling very high mania to very low depression or even suicidal. It is important to warn your family and friends that this may happen as this will help them to support you. Long-term treatment with steroids can lead to further potential side effects such as weight gain, acne, cataracts, osteoporosis thinning of the bones , diabetes and deterioration of the head of the thigh bone known as avascular necrosis of the hip and should be avoided.
To prevent the effects of long-term treatment, many MS teams will therefore give you no more than three courses of steroids in one year. The first steroid to be used for treating MS relapses was adrenocorticotrophic hormone ACTH , derived from a naturally occurring hormone. Since the s it has been replaced by synthetic steroids such as methylprednisolone. The review found that both treatments appeared to be equally effective and safe. A more recent French study has confirmed this finding.
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Steroids suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation around the site of nerve damage. Many studies have shown that steroids are effective at speeding up recovery from relapses. Full guideline Burton JM, et al. Oral versus intravenous steroids for treatment of relapses in multiple sclerosis.
Full article Filippini G, et al. Corticosteroids or ACTH for acute exacerbations in multiple sclerosis. Full article Le Page E, et al. Summary Sloka JS, et al. The mechanism of action of methylprednisolone in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis Journal ; Summary Miller H, et al. Find out more Relapsing remitting MS: Why did you find this page helpful? How could we improve this page? Would you like to stay in touch to help us with further improvements to the MS Trust website? Leave this field blank.