Adherence with Treatment Recommendations
It is known that disease-modifying agents are known to be only partially effective i.e., they may slow disease progression, but dont halt disease progression or cure the disease. It is important for healthcare professionals to support the patients optimism and hope for a benign disease course while continuing to emphasize the potential benefit of early treatment for a chronic and unpredictable disease.
Patients who are receiving
treatment for MS associated depression either with antidepressants or
with psychotherapy are significantly more likely to continue to take
disease-modifying drugs. Health care professionals can help increase patient
compliance by promoting realistic expectations about the results of treatment,
taking time to listen to patient concerns, clarifying misconceptions about therapy,
and helping patients manage drug side effects.
Approximately a third of
patients with MS may be using complementary and alternative medicine therapies,
such as St. Johns Wort for depression. Because of potential drug interactions
with complementary and alternative therapies, patients should be encouraged
to speak to their physicians before starting additional prescribed or over-the-counter
medications or substances purchased at health food stores.
A large number of people stop taking disease-modifying drugs because their symptoms dont improve or even increase.
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