February 1, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis

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Doctor Discussion Guide (for people not currently on MS treatment)

Your neurologist (a doctor who specializes in treating MS and other conditions affecting the nervous system) can help you find the treatment that's best for you so that you can live well with MS.

MS experts recommend that people start treatment with a disease-modifying medication as soon as possible after they're diagnosed with MS. Starting treatment early can help you maintain your current ability.

If you're newly diagnosed (or think you might have MS), have questions about MS, or are considering treatment, talk to your neurologist.

This Doctor Discussion Guide will help you talk to your neurologist about MS. Just fill in the blanks, then print this page and bring it to your neurologist's visit.

I have MS, or think I might.

I have been diagnosed with MS. Diagnosis date: ______________
I have not been diagnosed with MS, but I think that I might have it.

My symptoms are:

weakness, numbness, or "pins and needles" sensations
problems with balance or coordination
mobility issues (difficulty moving around)
dizziness or vertigo
problems with thinking, concentration, or memory
bowel problems (such as constipation or incontinence)
bladder problems (such as frequent urination or incontinence)
muscle stiffness or spasticity
vision problems
problems with sexual desire or performance

I'm interested in learning more about the following MS treatments:

Disease-modifying medications:

Avonex® PS (interferon beta-1a)
Betaseron® (interferon beta-1b)
Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate)
Extavia® (interferon beta-1b)
Gilenya® (fingolimod)
Rebif® (interferon beta-1a)
Tysabri® (natalizumab)

Medications for relapses:

corticosteroids (e.g., methylprednisolone [Solu-Medrol®], prednisone)
other: ______________________________________

Other treatments (e.g., surgery):


I have some questions:

General questions about MS:

  1. Do I have MS, or could another condition be causing my symptoms?
  2. Which form of MS do I have?
  3. How does MS progress? Is there any way to predict how my condition will change over time?
  4. How will MS affect my daily life?
  5. What is my Expanded Disability Status Score (EDSS)?
  6. Do you have any tips for coping with MS? Are there any lifestyle changes that would help me manage my MS?
  7. Where can I go for more information and support?

Questions about MS treatment:

  1. What treatment options are available to me?
  2. Which treatments alter the natural course of the disease?
  3. Why are most MS therapies taken by injection?
  4. What are the risks and benefits of each treatment option available to me?
  5. Which treatment option would you recommend and why?
  6. How does the treatment work?
  7. How do I use the treatment properly, and how often should I take it?
  8. When will the treatment begin to work, and how long can I expect the treatment to keep working for me?
  9. How long will I need to continue treatment?
  10. Are there any side effects I should watch out for, and what should I do if they happen?
  11. Will I need to have regular checkups or blood tests during treatment?
  12. Are there any people who should avoid this treatment (for example, people who are pregnant or breast-feeding)?
  13. Other: ________________________________
  14. Other: ________________________________

Print this page

MS Treatment Check-Up

Are you currently being treated for MS?

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It might be time to talk to your neurologist. Complete this tool to find out about the next steps in managing your condition.

Have you spoken to your neurologist recently about your condition?

Complete the MS Doctor Discussion Guide to find out some common issues you may want to talk to your doctor about.

Don't forget to bring the summary with you.



You've finished your treatment check-up. Click below to get your results!

Based on your answers, it may be time to discuss optimal treatment with your neurologist.
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What next?

1. Bring these results to your appointment:

2. Use the Doctor Discussion Guide to help you organize your questions and information for the doctor. Bring your results to your appointment.

3. Learn more about how to get the most from your treatment:

Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.


The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.

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