Information about medicines for multiple sclerosis

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1 Information about medicines for multiple sclerosis

2 Information about medicines for multiple sclerosis What is multiple sclerosis? 1 Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a lifelong disease that affects your brain and spinal cord. Normally, your immune system protects your body from infection and disease. MS causes your immune system to attack myelin, which is the cover that protects your nerves. This causes nerve damage, making it hard for your brain to communicate with the rest of your body. When this happens, you may have trouble remembering things, you may feel tired, or you may have trouble moving. There are different kinds of MS. The most common kind is relapsing remitting. This is when you have flare-ups of your MS from time to time. Most of the time you may not have any symptoms of MS. How can my MS be treated? There are medicines that can be used to treat MS or improve walking in people with MS. Medicines for MS 2 Brand (generic) name Ampyra (dalfampridine) More information Taken by mouth Used to improve walking in MS patients Aubagio (teriflunomide) Gilenya (fingolimod) Taken by mouth Used for relapsing forms of MS Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) Avonex (interferon beta-1a) Injected into the muscle Used for relapsing forms of MS Betaseron (interferon beta-1b) Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) Injected under the skin Used for relapsing forms of MS Extavia (interferon beta-1b) Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) Rebif (interferon beta-1a) OptumRx optumrx.com

3 Medicines for MS 2 Continued Brand (generic) name Novantrone (mitoxantrone) More information Injected into a vein Used for progressive-relapsing, secondary-progressive, worsening relapsing-remitting MS Tysabri (natalizumab) Injected into a vein Used for patients with relapsing forms of MS who have tried other medicines Why is it important to take my MS medicines? 2 It s important to take your MS medicines because they may improve your health and quality of life. You may find it easier to do daily activities and be more energized. Medicines for MS can: Reduce how often you have an MS relapse (which is a worsening of your symptoms that last for more than 24 hours). Help reduce the severity of relapses. Reduce the areas of damage on the brain and spinal cord. Help slow the natural course of MS. Help with MS symptoms. Don t stop taking any of your medicines even if you feel healthy or feel like they re not working. When you keep taking your MS medicines, you slow down the progression of your MS. Communicate with your doctor if you have any concerns or if you want to make any changes to your medicines.

4 Information about multiple sclerosis medicines What are some common side effects of MS medicines? 2-6 Some common side effects of some MS medicines and tips to manage them are listed below. If your symptoms continue or get worse, please contact your doctor or OptumRx pharmacist. Fatigue (tiredness) Prioritize your activities. Eat well-balanced meals. Don t skip any meals. Get enough rest and sleep. Make time for regular exercise like light walking. Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, muscle pain, discomfort, sweating) Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Put a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead if you have a fever. Communicate with your doctor about using Advil (ibuprofen) or Tylenol (acetaminophen) for fever, body aches, and/or pain. Injection site reactions If you use alcohol to clean the injection area, let it dry before you inject. Use a different injection site each time you inject. Apply an ice pack to the site for no more than two minutes before and after injecting. If ice doesn t help, try a warm compress. Headaches Avoid loud noises and bright lights. Get a massage or apply heat to the upper neck. Don t take medicines for a headache without first communicating with to your doctor. Get emergency help if you also have a fever, a stiff neck, confusion, double vision, weakness, numbness, or a hard time speaking. What are some of the more serious side effects of MS medicines? Sometimes MS medicines can cause more serious side effects. If you notice any of these side effects, please communicate with your doctor right away. If you have a hard time breathing or have any thoughts of hurting yourself or others, call 911 right away. OptumRx optumrx.com

5 Serious side effects of MS medicines 2 Medicines Serious side effects Ampyra Aubagio Avonex Betaseron Extavia Plegridy Rebif Copaxone Gilenya Novantrone Tecfidera Tysabri Kidney or bladder infection (pain in your side) Infections (fever, body aches, tiredness) New or worsening breathing problems Skin problems Depression, thoughts of suicide, and suicide attempts. If you feel sad or hopeless or feel like hurting yourself or others, tell a friend or family member right away and call your doctor immediately If you think you have depression, tell your doctor or OptumRx pharmacist Infection (symptoms might include fever, body aches or tiredness) Allergic reaction Flushing, anxiety, trouble breathing, and itching right after an injection Breathing problems Infections (symptoms might include fever, body aches or tiredness) Liver problems (symptoms might include yellowing of the eyes and skin, dark urine or pale stool color) Congestive heart failure Skin problems Infection (symptoms might include fever, body aches or tiredness) Infections (symptoms might include fever, body aches or tiredness) A rare brain infection (symptoms might include clumsiness, weakness, or changes in your vision, speech, or personality) Seizure Increase in potassium levels (checked by blood tests) Kidney problems (pain in your side) Blood problems (decrease in the levels of infection-fighting blood cells, red blood cells or cells that help to form blood clots) Liver problems (yellowing of eyes and skin, dark urine, pale stool color) Severe skin damage Thyroid problems Chest pain Slow heart rate Vision problem called macular edema Liver problems (symptoms might include yellowing of the eyes and skin, dark urine or pale stool color) Allergic reaction

6 Information about multiple sclerosis medicines How should I store my MS medicine? Tysabri and Novantrone are usually stored and given at an infusion center or the doctor s office. Ampyra, Aubgio, Gilenya and Tecfidera should be stored at room temperature. For Betaseron and Extavia, keep the vials at room temperature but, once they are mixed, refrigerate the medicine. For Avonex, Copaxone, Plegridy and Rebif, they should be stored in the refrigerator. Below are some storage tips to keep in mind: Don t freeze the medicine. Don t use the medicine if it has been frozen. Don t shake the medicine. Don t store the medicine in the refrigerator door. Don t store the medicine on the top of your refrigerator where the temperature is cooler. Below are some travel tips if you re planning to travel with your injectable medicine that requires refrigeration: Check with your airline to see if you may carry needles, syringes, or auto-injectors on the plane. Carry a note from your doctor about your medical condition. Show it to airport security. Tell airport security if you have a sharps container (for throwing away used needles) in your carry-on bag. Always keep the medicine with you (on the plane and in the car). Pack the medicine in a small cooler to help protect it from extreme temperatures and sunlight. Use a thermometer to make sure the medicine is kept at the right temperature. If you can t keep it cold, ask your doctor or pharmacist how long the medicine can be kept at room temperature. For more detailed storage information, refer to the information that came with your medicine or call your OptumRx pharmacist if you have any questions. OptumRx optumrx.com

7 What should I do if I missed a dose? 2 Generally, don t take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose. Communicate with your pharmacist or doctor to get more specific directions. It s important to try not to miss any doses since your medicine helps prevent your MS from worsening. Some tips to help you remember to take your medicine is to: Take your medicine around the same time each day. Mark the dates for taking your medicine on a calendar. Where can I get more information? For more information, please contact the resources below. Your doctor or OptumRx pharmacists are also good resources. OptumRx Phone: Website: optumrx.com National Multiple Sclerosis Society Phone: Website: nationalmssociety.org Ampyra Phone: Website: ampyra.com Aubagio Phone: Website: aubagio.com Avonex Phone: Website: avonex.com Website: msactivesource.com Betaseron Phone: Website: betaseron.com Copaxone Phone: Website: copaxone.com Website: sharedsolutions.com Extavia Phone: Website: extavia.com Gilenya Phone: Website: gilenya.com Novantrone Phone: Website: novantrone.com Website: mslifelines.com Plegridy Phone: Website: plegridy.com Rebif Phone: Website: rebif.com Website: mslifelines.com Tecfidera Phone: Website: tecfidera.com Tysabri Phone: Website: tysabri.com

8 Information about multiple sclerosis medicines References: 1. What is MS? National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/what-we-know-about-ms/ what-is-ms/index.aspx. Accessed December 19, Micromedex 2.0 website. Micromedexsolutions.com/. Accessed December 19, Fatigue. Medline Plus Website. Nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/ htm. Updated April Accessed December 19, Treat Other Flu Symptoms. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Cdc.gov/flu/homecare/treatsymptoms.htm. Accessed December 19, Headache. Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia website. Nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/ htm. Updated October Accessed December 19, Side effects. Rebif website. Rebif.com/pages/starting-rebif/side_effects. Accessed December 19, optumrx.com The information in this educational tool does not substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of your physician. Always seek the help of your physician or qualified health provider for any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. OptumRx specializes in the delivery, clinical management and affordability of prescription medications and consumer health products. We are an Optum TM company a leading provider of integrated health services. Learn more at optum.com. All Optum TM trademarks and logos are owned by Optum, Inc. All other brand or product names are trademarks or registered marks of their respective owners Optum, Inc. All rights reserved ORX3717_150122

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