At present there is no cure for MS, but management of the disease includes various pharmacological strategies. These include drug treatments to speed up the clinical improvement from relapses, medications that reduce the risk of further relapses (commonly known as disease modifying therapies), and therapies that alleviate and improve various symptoms.

In addition to these drugs, successful management of MS also includes a healthy diet, exercise and rehabilitation.

We also outline some of the complementary or alternative therapies that people with MS may use alongside conventional treatments.

This information should not be relied on to suggest a course of treatment for a particular individual, and it should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation or the advice or a physician or other qualified healthcare provider. You should contact or see your physician or other qualified healthcare provider promptly if you have any questions or before embarking on a new treatment, diet, or fitness programme.

Download the Pharmacological treatments issue of MS in focus magazine (you will need Acrobat Reader to view these files):

A man injects his girlfriend with Interferon-b

Aversa, Italy, 03/2012. Like many people with MS, Stefania Salzillo finds it difficult to cope with the daily injections of Interferon-b. Her boyfriend, Ernesto Lodice, helps out providing both practical and emotional support. But access to medication was relatively quick: she received her first prescription within two months of being diagnosed. The cost of DMDs in Italy is 100% covered by the national health plan. Credit: Walter Astrada. Published on this website by kind permission of the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform.

A Greek woman with MS in a motorised scooter

Thessaloniki, Greece, 10/2011. Finding an effective MS therapy has been a particular challenge for Vasiliki Garopoulou; every medication she tried has caused intolerable side effects. On average, she has a relapse once per month, many of which land her in hospital for cortisone treatment. Credit: Maximiliano Braun. Published on this website by kind permission of the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform.