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Disclaimer: 'MS Views and News' DOES NOT endorse any products or services found on this blog. It is up to you to seek advice from your healthcare provider. The intent of this blog is to provide information on various medical conditions, medications, treatments, for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

How to Recognize an MS Attack

Most forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) involve stretches of time when you feel good and other times when your symptoms act up. You might hear those worse periods called:
  • Attacks
  • Relapses
  • Flare-ups
  • Episodes
  • Exacerbations
How do you know if what you’re having is one?

Signs of an MS Attack

During an attack, some symptoms you’ve had before may get worse, or you could have new ones.
These can include:
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Trouble with your vision
  • Issues with your bladder
  • Numb or tingling feelings (pins and needles)
  • Problems with your memory
  • Trouble concentrating
It's a relapse if:
  • You’d been free of symptoms for at least 30 days before the ones you’re having now started
  • They last at least 24 hours
  • There’s no obvious trigger
Not every symptom is a sign of a relapse. If yours last less than 48 hours, you may have had something called a pseudoexacerbation. That’s when you temporarily feel symptoms.
Keep in mind that if you have even the slightest fever, it could be a sign of an infection. That also can cause problems like those you’d feel in a relapse.

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Treatment for MS #Flare-Ups (#Exacerbations)

If you have MS and you think you’re having a flare-up, call your MS doctor or nurse as soon as you can. They’ll ask about your general health, the symptoms you’re feeling, and any problems they’re causing. This will help them decide the best way to help you feel better and get through the flare-up.


Sometimes your symptoms will go away on their own. If they don’t, your doctor might suggest steroids or another medicine.
Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that can ease your symptoms and shorten your flare-up. They also can help you recover from one. But they can’t undo the damage that’s been done or slow down the disease.
You should start them as soon as your doctor confirms you’re having a flare-up. Methylprednisolone is the most common steroid used for this.
You might take the steroids as tablets, or your doctor might put them right into your bloodstream through a needle in your vein -- called an intravenous (IV) drip. It’s done in a hospital or your doctor’s office.
Steroids can cause side effects. They can be short- or long-term.
Short-term effects include:
  • Changes in your mood
  • Trouble falling asleep and other changes in your sleep
  • Nausea
  • Faster-than-normal heart rate
  • Metallic taste in your mouth
  • Bigger appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Flushed or red face
  • Swollen ankles
  • Acne
Long-term use of steroids can make your skin and bones thin (that’s called osteoporosis). It can also cause high blood pressure. On rare occasions, steroids can also damage your hips.
If you can’t take them because of the side effects or because they haven’t worked well for you, another option is Acthar gel. That’s a form of a hormone called ACTH. That helps your body make a different hormone that can fight your inflammation. You get it as a shot in a muscle or under your skin, and it goes into your bloodstream. You need one shot a day for 2 to 3 weeks.
Article Provided by:  #MSViewsandNews

Plasmapheresis: Plasma Exchange for Multiple Sclerosis

Plasma exchange, also known as plasmapheresis, is a way to "clean" your blood. It works sort of like kidney dialysis. During the treatment, plasma -- the liquid part of your blood -- gets replaced with plasma from a donor or with a plasma substitute.
People with some forms of multiple sclerosis use plasma exchange to manage sudden, severe attacks, sometimes called relapses or flare-ups. Their plasma could have certain proteins that are attacking their own body. When you take out the plasma, you get rid of those proteins, and symptoms may get better.

How It Works

You can get plasma exchange in the hospital or at an outpatient center. The process isn't painful, and you won't need anesthesia.
You'll lie in bed or sit in a reclining chair.
A nurse or a specialist will put a needle attached to a thin tube, called a catheter, into a vein in each arm. If your arm veins are too small, you may have to have a needle in your shoulder or groin instead.
Your blood comes out through one of the tubes and goes into a machine that separates your plasma from your blood cells. Then your blood cells get mixed with fresh plasma, and the new blood mixture goes back into your body through the other tube.
Most treatments last 2 to 4 hours, depending on how big your body is and how much plasma gets swapped out. You may need two or three treatments each week for 2 or more weeks.

Side Effects and Risks

During plasma exchange, your blood pressure is lower than usual. This can make you feel weak, dizzy, or nauseous. Drink lots of water in the days before your treatment, because that can help prevent these symptoms.
You may feel tired after plasma exchange, but most people can get back to their normal activities right away.
Plasma exchange can cause bleeding and allergic reactions, and it can make your chance of getting an infection higher. In rare cases, a blood clot could form in the machine.

Who It Helps

Your chance of seeing improvement of MS symptoms is greater if you have a relapsing form of MS and:


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Article Provided by:  #MSViewsandNews

Friday, May 17, 2019

Final Days to Register for: The Compass to CARE MS FORUM in Bellevue, WA

For all in or near Bellevue, Washington: Join us for a wonderful educational experience, led not just by an MS organization, but by a true MS patient advocacy organization named MS Views and News.

This educational program is being facilitated by a person who has trained Multiple Sclerosis to live with him. Join us, to learn from this MS event by attending on 5/28.
    PARKING will be paid by MS Views and News.

To RSVP you can easily click here or review more by opening the flyer:
Click image to make larger for easier reading

TO RSVP either click the above image and then click the link to Register
OR simply click here

Save the Date for our Next Champions Tackling MS Benefit

September 19, 2019

                                                      CLICK the image to make larger

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Accessing your medicines (MS and non-MS) can be confusing. BUT It doesn’t have to be.

PhRMA member companies are committed to helping patients make more informed health care decisions by providing more transparency about medicine costs. This, along with the development of the Medicine Assistance Tool, provides patients with the information they need to make more educated health care decisions.

PhRMA’s Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT) is a search engine designed to help patients, caregivers and health care providers learn more about the resources available through the various biopharmaceutical industry programs. MAT is not its own patient assistance program, but rather a search engine for many of the patient assistance resources that the biopharmaceutical industry offers.


Article Provided by:  #MSViewsandNews

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

PhRMA Launches New Website to Provide Patients with Medicine Cost Information

Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2019) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) president and CEO Steven J. Ubl issued the following statement:
“We are concerned that the administration’s rule requiring list prices in direct-to-consumer (DTC) television advertising could be confusing for patients and may discourage them from seeking needed medical care. We support providing patients with more transparency about medicine costs, which is why our member companies voluntarily began directing patients to links to comprehensive cost information in their DTC television advertising. After speaking with patients across the country, we learned that patients prefer this approach. 
“This is also why today we announced the launch of a new platform for patients, caregivers and health care providers called the Medicine Assistance Tool, or MAT. This tool links to the websites referenced in company DTC television advertising and includes a search tool to help patients connect to financial assistance programs. This effort is just one of several ways our members are working to ensure patients have the information they need to make more informed health care decisions.
“While we are still reviewing the administration’s rule, we believe there are operational challenges, particularly the 60-day implementation timeframe, and think the final rule raises First Amendment and statutory concerns.”
Background on the Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT)

Article Provided by:  #MSViewsandNews