Relapses: How to fight back

What should I do if I have a relapse?

When you have a relapse, take action! Contact the health care professional that you usually see for your MS care. This may be your neurologist, family doctor, or MS nurse. Describe your symptoms and ask what you should do. You will likely need to go to the doctor's office or MS clinic for assessment and treatment.

How are relapses usually managed?

Relapses are usually treated with high doses of steroid medications (e.g., prednisone or methylprednisolone). Steroids work by reducing the brain and spinal cord inflammation associated with the relapse. Side effects associated with steroid medications include mood changes, upset stomach, ankle swelling and acne. You may also receive rehabilitation such as physiotherapy and home care to help you recover. If the relapse is mild, such as with a sensory relapse, your doctor may recommend no treatment.

I feel like I'm having too many relapses. How can I fight back?

Talk to your neurologist about your symptoms. Describe the number of relapses you've had, your symptoms, and how you are doing on your treatment. You and your neurologist can discuss whether to adjust your treatment plan. Together you can work to take charge of your MS so it doesn't take charge of you.

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