How Do I Know When It Is Time to Switch Medications?

There are a range of treatment options in the battle against multiple sclerosis. In this video, Mitzi Joi Williams, MD, explains when and why a medication switch might be necessary, as well as other ways to manage MS symptoms.

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GLORIBEL: Hi Dr. Mitzi. I feel like I'm handling my relapse in MS pretty well. But I'm wondering if I can handle it any better.
Thank you so much for that question, Gloribel. And it's a very common one that you and many other people living with MS have.
I generally tell my patients that there's a part you play and there's a part that medicine plays. And there is no medicine that will take away
the part that you play to improve your own health with MS or any other chronic disease. Things that you can do include taking
your disease-modifying therapy and keeping up with whatever plan you and your health care team come up with.
Also, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, exercising and moving as much as possible, as well as having a good care support team,
including your care partners, family, friends, and other people living with MS who understand what you're going through on a daily basis.
How do I know when or if should I switch medications? Switching medications is a very common thing
that happens in multiple sclerosis treatment, especially since we have so many treatments available.
One of the important things to understand is that we switch medicines for the same reasons in real life that we talk about switching or changing therapy
in our research. So we look at the person living with MS. Are you having relapses? Are you having worsening of your symptoms?
And then we also look at MRIs. Are you having worsening of your MRIs? If you're unable to tolerate your medicine,
we certainly have enough options where we can get you something that you can take that you can tolerate but also that treat your MS.
And then a final reason that we may switch therapies-- if you're having side effects such as laboratory abnormalities that may affect other aspects of your health.

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