I was diagnosed with MS in August 2016, following an episode of optic neuritis. The neurologist that I saw felt that other neurological symptoms dating back over 10 years were earlier signs of MS that had been misdiagnosed (as viral laberynthitis, whiplash, pinched nerves etc).
I have had mostly sensory symptoms, until this June 2016, when I had a complex relapse with optic neuritis and left-sided weakness, coupled with a return of all previous symptoms. I am now fully recovered and essentially symptom-free. I am contemplating trying Lemtrada because I feel it would give me a long-term chance of staying symptom-free. Is this something that you would recommend to someone with such mild symptoms? Is it worth the risks? I am a 36 year old female living in the UK. I am currently taking Tecfidera.
Taking Lemtrada would not be unreasonable. While there are many risks you need to consider (requiring monthly lab work for five years after the first infusion) the benefits of that medication are quite high.
Patients were included in the original trials who had not been previously treated and they did have significant benefits in terms of reducing relapses, MRI lesions and disability.
On the other hand, if you are tolerating Tecfidera well with no side effects you may want to see how you do on therapy with that medication since you just started it. Discuss this information with your physician.
Benjamin Osborne, MD
Associate Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology
Director, Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Clinic
Director, Neuro-Ophthalmology Clinic
Associate Director of the NIH/Georgetown Neurology Residency Program
Medstar Georgetown University Hospital
3800 Reservoir Road, NW 7PHC
Washington, DC 20007