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Immunomodulating-immunomodulator - what a mouthful!

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary an immunomodulator is:

a chemical agent (or medicine in the case of the abc treatments) that modifies (or changes) the immune response or the functioning of the immune system (as by the stimulation of antibody formation or the inhibition of white blood cell activity).

In simpler terms, an immunomodulator is a drug or medicine that changes or alters the way the immune system responds or acts.

Immunomodulating means of, relating to, or being an immunomodulator or its effects or activity. (So, I guess anything relating to the first definition).

For example:

  • immunomodulating effects
  • an immunomodulating agent
  • immunomodulating properties

The main thing to understand is that these type of drugs, (immunomodulators), change the way some or parts of the immune system work. Hopefully we've cleared that up for you.

Immune modulating medications

Immunomodulating medicines are those that are usually used to treat the relapsing forms of multiples sclerosis. They help slow the disease progression as far as disability is concerned. They also keep you from experiencing as many exacerbations. One new medication, has finally been approved for primary progressive MS (PPMS). 

What are these medications? If you've had MS for awhile, then you are probably familiar with the following list. Here they are and no doubt there will be more to come in the future. The rate at which treatments are being developed is very encouraging.

  • Avonex (interferon beta 1a)
  • Rebif (interferon beta 1a)
  • Betaseron (interferon beta 1b)
  • Extavia (interferon beta 1b)
  • Lemtrada (Alemtuzumab)
  • Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a)
  • Tysabri (Natalizumab)
  • Glatopa (Glatiramer acetate)
  • Copaxone (Glatiramer acetate)
  • Gilenya (Fingolimod)
  • Aubagio (Teriflunomide)
  • Tecfidera (Dimethyl fumarate)
  • Zinbryta (Daclizumab)

As you can see, the list has grown since the first three medications, called the ABC treatments, were first developed. Maybe we should call them the A to Z Treatments for multiple sclerosis - from Avonex to Zinbryta. 

So far, none of them are a cure, however, the odds of one coming in the near future are good. Lemtrada may be the closest thing to a cure available, for 60 percent of the people who take it. It will either work for you or not. If it works, your immune system reboots and your body goes into remission. No more symptoms.

Hopefully, with all the research and studies for new treatments, one of them will prove to reverse the effects of MS and give people their lives back. I know for a fact, Cir would love to be able to walk, run, swim, do martial arts, and just be able to get up and go, just the way he used to.

I'm sure just stopping the disease in it's tracks would be enough for most who are unfortunate enough to develop multiple sclerosis. Hopefully one of the above immunomodulating-immunomodulators will at least slow the progression until a cure can be found. Let's all hope.

Go from Immunomodulating-immunomodulator back to ABC Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

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Cir & Akrista

You are reading original content written by Akrista or Cir L'Bert of Life in Spite of MS. If you enjoyed reading this blog, please consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. See you there!

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