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Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms

The damage MS causes to the protective nerve coating, myelin, can interfere with the signals nerves send between the central nervous system (CNS) and the body. Depending on where the damage occurs, you may experience a variety of symptoms.

Symptoms vary in severity. Some may be long-lasting while others come and go. Since no two people have the same experience with MS, your symptoms may be different from someone else's. While some patients experience problems with disability, there are other symptoms that can occur.

During your disease course, existing symptoms may worsen or new symptoms may appear during a flare-up as your relapsing MS progresses. Your doctor is the best source of information if you have any questions about MS symptoms.

AVONEX is indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of MS.
AVONEX is not indicated to treat the individual symptoms of relapsing MS, including those listed below.


Fatigue appears as a symptom of MS at one time or another and can make it hard to perform everyday functions.

Numbness and tingling

MS may affect your sense of touch, including your ability to feel hot and cold temperatures, or cause numbness or tingling.

Poor balance, and coordination

Damage from MS can result in poor balance or coordination. It may become difficult to maintain your balance when you walk across a room. You may also have trouble picking up small objects or writing clearly.

Changes in vision

Vision problems are often the first MS symptom experienced. Swelling of the optic nerve, called optic neuritis, can cause blurred vision and/or pain behind the eye.

Dizziness and vertigo

You may feel off-balance or lightheaded and can experience vertigo, the sensation that you or your surroundings are spinning.

Problems with concentration and memory

MS may affect your memory, slow your thought processes, or make it hard to concentrate.

Mood changes

Depression and other emotional changes, such as irritability and mood swings, are common with MS.

Muscle stiffness

Muscle stiffness may range from a feeling of tightness to spasms—painful, involuntary muscle contractions. Spasms often occur in the legs, but may affect your lower back muscles or the muscles surrounding your joints.


MS can cause pain in your arms and legs, as well as facial pain.

Bladder or bowel problems

With MS, you may experience loss of bladder control, difficulty urinating, or the uncontrollable urge to urinate. You may also experience bowel control problems and constipation.

Sexual dysfunction

Men with MS may experience erectile dysfunction and women with MS may experience dryness, a loss of sensitivity, painful intercourse, or an inability to reach orgasm.

Remember, you are not alone. There are other people living with relapsing MS that have been through situations similar to yours. You can find a Peer Mentor through the ActiveVoices program*.

*Peer mentors are not doctors and cannot offer any medical advice. Only your healthcare provider can answer your medical questions about MS or other conditions.


Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for additional important safety information. This information is not intended to replace discussions with your healthcare provider.


Kelly: Why I choose AVONEX


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