ArticleDisease-Modifying Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis: Strategies For Optimizing ManagementFrohman, Elliot MD, PhD; Phillips, Ted MD, PhD; Kokel, Kristen PA-C; Van Pelt, Jerry PA; O’Leary, Shirley RN; Gross, Shelly MSW; Hawker, Kathleen MD; Racke, Michael MDAuthor Information From the Departments of Neurology (E.M.F., K.K., J.D.VP., S.G., K.H., M.K.R.) Ophthalmology (E.M.F.), and the Center for Immunology (M.K.R.), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA and Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas (J.T.P., S.O.) Send reprint requests to Elliot M. Frohman, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75235. E-mail: [email protected] The Neurologist: July 2002 - Volume 8 - Issue 4 - p 227-236 Buy Abstract BACKGROUND– The objective for this article is to highlight several challenges faced by patients and providers in the utilization of disease-modifying agent (DMA) therapy in multiple sclerosis (MS) and to offer practical management strategies that can effectively mitigate or even prevent limiting adverse reactions and enhance treatment compliance. REVIEW SUMMARY– Our discussion will be limited to the use of interferon β1a (Avonex, Rebif), interferon β1b (Betaseron), and glatiramer acetate (Copoxane) as these are the primary agents used in the United States for primary disease-modifying therapy in relapsing forms of MS. Some of the recommendations contained herein are derived from evidence-based studies, while others are contingent upon our collective clinical experiences. At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and Texas Neurology in Dallas we actively follow approximately 5000 MS patients. The majority of our patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) or secondary progressive MS (SPMS) are treated with one of the currently available DMAs. Our experience with these patients, and the challenges they face in continuing long-term treatment, constitutes the basis of our proposed treatment strategies. As part of this effort we formulated an assessment and intervention instrument that can be used in the clinic and by telephone to enhance compliance and minimize adverse events. CONCLUSION– A comprehensive treatment approach to the utilization of disease-modifying therapy in MS can serve to optimize the management of our patients and effectively meet the challenges that arise during the course of treatment. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.