Achieving Adherence to Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

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In examining the likelihood of adherence to various medications for multiple sclerosis (MS), Stephen Krieger, MD, believes most patients prefer oral therapies over injectable ones.

“Certainly, I’m still waiting to meet the patient who’s excited about doing injections,” Krieger notes. “I think we’ve met a lot of patients who are excited about the opportunity to take a pill. And, I think, insofar as it’s something desirable for patients, they seek that.”

Krieger says therapy-naïve MS patients are more likely to be interested in oral agents as they learn more about treating their condition, which he believes “has the potential to facilitate adherence.” However, those who have received injectable therapies with success may opt to stay with those options rather than switch to oral treatments because “they don’t want to rock the boat,” Clyde Markowitz, MD, notes.

“The ones who really have either had difficulty with the injections or the disease activity has not been controlled on whatever agent … just want to switch off to another agent,” Markowitz explains.

According to the panelists, other potential complications for adherence include medications that must be taken more than once a day and missed doses’ detrimental effect on treatment and monitoring. To regain or foster adherence to MS therapy, Krieger says the best thing to do is to show patients their stable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results, which would demonstrate that their treatment regimens are successful.


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