Understanding Multiple Sclerosis Medications (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Mitoxantrone (Novantrone) is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved immunosuppressant used for treatment of multiple sclerosis. Other immunosuppressants, such as cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), azathioprine (Imuran), or methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall), are prescribed primarily in specialized centers; but their efficacy in multiple sclerosis remains controversial and they are not FDA approved for this use. These drugs should not substitute for the immune-modulating drugs as first-line agents in newly diagnosed relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Some physicians find a role for Cytoxan, Imuran, and methotrexate as last-resort measures for patients who have not responded to the FDA approved drugs or that have a fulminant (malignant) course of multiple sclerosis that may be life threatening.
How immunosuppressants work: This group includes a wide variety of agents that work in many different ways, but they all interfere in the immune-system processes that cause inflammation.
Mitoxantrone (Novantrone): indicated for reducing neurologic disability and/or the frequency of clinical relapses in patients with secondary (chronic) progressive, progressive relapsing, or worsening relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (i.e., patients whose neurologic status is significantly abnormal between relapses). Novantrone is not indicated in the treatment of patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017
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