Although there is no cure for MS yet, various drugs treatments and therapies are available to treat symptoms and minimise time between episodes. Steroids are a common treatment in the early stages during a relapse. It is important to keep a good general level of health (see other sections on Diet and Exercise) . The main category of drugs prescribed are called disease modifying drugs (DMT’s) which are used in the relapsing stage of MS. Your MS team will help guide you to the right treatment for your requirements. The main aim of any treatment is to get symptoms under control and manage MS in the most proactive way possible.
MS medication available in Guernsey
The list of medication is extensive but the main ones you will hear more about are the Disease Modifying Treatments (DMT's)
Avonex (interferon beta 1a) - Once a week injection
Betaferon (interferon beta 1b) - Three times a week injection
Rebif (interferon bet 1a) - Three times a week injection
Tysabri (natalizumab) and Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) are drugs that are administered in Southampton as an infusion (LIMITED AVAILABILITY at present).
Guernsey Bailiwick has all but 3 of the DMT's available in the UK [Aubagio(teriflunomide), Mavenclad (Cladrabine) and Ocrevus (Ocrelizumab)]. This is on grounds of safety rather than cost, because currently there aren't the right/sufficient resources (Neurologist on island/extra specialist nurses) to allow adequate monitoring. These particular drugs may be more effective but they have a much higher incidence of serious side-effects and therefore cannot be prescribed without proper supervision in place.
Other treatments are specifically designed to treat symptoms associated with MS, rather than the MS process itself. Please liaise with your health care professionals who can advise and guide you on the correct treatment according to your symptoms.
Occasionally Bailiwick residents are sent to the UK for investigations or treatment. If you are told this is appropriate for you, then visit Health Connections who can provide you with information and advice about your UK visit.
Additional useful information can be found on the websites below, but remember this is UKprovision and differs slightly from Guernsey