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* 1. Do you view managing MS symptoms as a major goal of MS treatment?

Managing MS Symptoms
Although disease-modifying therapies are not prescribed to treat MS symptoms, there are ways to manage many MS symptoms. Do not expect your DMT to improve your MS symptoms. However, you can start a conversation with your doctor about which MS symptoms you experience and how they can be better managed to improve your quality of life.

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* 2. Is it more important to use a highly effective MS treatment or to avoid serious side effects?

Effectiveness vs. Safety
The good news is that highly effective DMTs are not necessarily associated with a higher risk for serious side effects. However, in some cases, you may have to choose between a more effective treatment option or a safer treatment option.

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* 3. Which type of treatment are you most likely to stick with, taking every dose on schedule as directed?

The Treatment You’ll Stick With
Adhering to your treatment plan and medication schedule present your best opportunity for slowing the progression of your MS. When setting your treatment goals, it’s important to choose a DMT you’re most likely to stick with — without missing a dose. 

Reflect on what type of medication will work best for your schedule and personal preferences. Will you have trouble remembering to take an oral medication once or twice every day? Will you be reluctant to self-inject medication? Will you have trouble going to scheduled infusion appointments at a clinic?

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* 4. Are you willing to discuss lifestyle changes (for instance, stopping smoking) that might contribute to your goals for MS treatment?

Healthier Habits To Help Meet Goals
Adopting a healthier lifestyle can help you feel your best and also have a positive impact on MS progression. These healthy habits may include:
  • Eating a nutritious and balanced diet
  • Not smoking cigarettes
  • Getting regular exercise
If you are willing to make changes in your lifestyle that can support your overall health and contribute to slowing MS progression, you may be more likely to reach your MS treatment goals.

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* 5. If you switch to a new DMT, how long should it take to noticeably slow your MS disease progression?

Setting Expectations for Results
It can take 12 months or longer before a DMT takes full effect. Be sure to discuss your expectations with your doctor before beginning treatment with a new MS medication.

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* 6. If you experience problematic side effects after starting a new DMT, how will you handle them?

Managing Side Effects
Since taking a DMT is the best way to slow disease progression, it’s important to find a treatment you can tolerate. If you experience side effects, reporting them to your doctor and looking for ways to manage them can help you benefit from the treatment. If you have a low tolerance for side effects, let your doctor know. They can recommend treatment options that are generally easier to tolerate.
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