What Is relapsing MS?

MS Affects Everyone Differently

Understanding the details can help

MS is a progressive disease that causes damage to the central nervous system manifested in outward and silent symptoms. Although there is no cure for MS, many treatments are available that can help slow progression of the disease.

How MS affects the body

Relapsing MS is thought to be an autoimmune disease, which means that, instead of defending the body against harmful invaders (such as viruses or bacteria), the immune system attacks the body itself.

Specifically, MS affects the cells of the central nervous system (CNS). Your brain contains nerve cells called neurons, and the nerve fibers are protected and insulated by what is called the myelin sheath. The myelin helps neurons send electrical signals to and from the brain, telling the body what to do.

With MS, immune cells cross the blood-brain barrier, cause inflammation within the CNS, and attack the myelin sheath. This is thought to interfere with the ability of neurons to send signals between the brain and the body. When your brain cannot communicate with the nerves and muscles the way it's supposed to, various symptoms of MS (such as vision problems and difficulty with muscle movement, coordination, and balance) can occur.

What causes relapsing MS?

MS is thought to affect more than 2 million people across the globe. About 85% of those are diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS, the most common form of the disease. It is about 2 to 3 times more common in women than in men. An MS diagnosis generally occurs between 20 and 50 years of age, but it can also happen when you're younger or older.

Nobody knows exactly what causes MS, but research is being conducted to investigate:

  • - Environmental factors
  • - Infectious agents (such as bacteria or a virus)
  • - Genetic predisposition (a family history of MS)
  • - Ethnicity: although anyone can get relapsing MS, a large percentage are of Northern European descent

Getting Started on AVONEX

See how to start on AVONEX treatment.

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The AVONEX Titration Kit

Learn about building up to the full dose of AVONEX. Talk to your healthcare provider today.

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Connie's Story

See why Connie and her healthcare provider chose to treat her relapsing MS with AVONEX.

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Learn about the symptoms of relapsing MS.
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Important Safety Information and Indication

AVONEX can cause serious side effects. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below while taking AVONEX.

Indication

AVONEX (interferon beta-1a) is approved by FDA to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) to decrease the number of flare-ups and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS. AVONEX is approved for use in people who have experienced a first attack and have lesions consistent with MS on their MRI.

Important Safety Information

Before beginning treatment, you should discuss with your healthcare provider the potential benefits and risks associated with AVONEX.

AVONEX can cause serious side effects. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below while taking AVONEX.

AVONEX will not cure your MS but may decrease the number of flare-ups of the disease and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS. MS is a life-long disease that affects your nervous system by destroying the protective covering (myelin) that surrounds your nerve fibers.

The way AVONEX works in MS is not known. It is not known if AVONEX is safe and effective in children.

Do not take AVONEX if you are allergic to interferon beta, albumin (human), or any of the ingredients in AVONEX.

Before taking AVONEX, tell your healthcare provider if you:

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

AVONEX can cause serious side effects including:

Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

The most common side effects of AVONEX include:

Call your healthcare provider 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.

Indication

AVONEX (interferon beta-1a) is approved by FDA to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) to decrease the number of flare-ups and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS. AVONEX is approved for use in people who have experienced a first attack and have lesions consistent with MS on their MRI.