Medications/drugs to avoid if you have Multiple Sclerosis

The material that I am providing you with comes from a Lecture given at Desert Adventure in Tucson Arizona 10/98. Dr. Weinreb is the Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at the New York University Medical Center; Chief Division of Neurosciences; Co-Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Care Center at Hospital for Joint Disease.

Drugs to avoid if you have MS
A clinical trial revealed that interferon gamma worsened MS. Interferon gamma is something your body produces at a very high rate when you are having a viral infection.
Ciprofloxacin, a very commonly prescribed antibiotic medication for chest infections, bronchitis and urinary tract infections, can actually trigger exacerbations in MS. Cipro is an antibiotic that induces the genes for interferon gamma. There are cousins of Cipro also. Dr. Weinreb indicated that he would suggest avoiding any drug that had the word floxin in it if you suffer from MS.
Indomethacin, a non steroidal, is a cousin of Motrin or Advil. It's not commonly prescribed but is clearly linked to flare-ups of multiple sclerosis.

What makes MS worse?
There are only two things that are clearly established to make MS worse. One is viral infections. This makes sense due to the problem that MS presents in regulating the immune system-if the immune system is turned on, white cells are making Interferon gamma and all these other molecules that may have a bad effect on the nervous system and they also trigger an attack.

The postpartum period is a time of worsening symptoms for a woman with MS. Pregnancy is a time when the immune system goes into a state of dormancy, a selective dormancy because women who are pregnant certainly can fight off infections just as well as anyone else. But this ceases after delivery, since the factor that was protecting them from flare ups, have cease to exist, that is, the placenta factor. Further studies are currently being conducted in this area.

Finally, stress does play a role in triggering exacerbations. But it is a very complicated relationship because the brain responds to positive and negative stress in exactly the same way.

Can we improve the amount of myelin that you have?
Scientist at the Cambridge Neuroscience company have been able to isolate the molecule that initiates myelin reproduction. They will be initiating a human trial next year. Further information in this area is yet to come.

Prognostic Indicators
There are no good ways to predict the course that MS will follow in a patient. Unfavorable prognostic signs are progressive disability; someone who is getting worse from day one. A poor response to steroids suggests that there's not much of an inflammatory component. Having severe cognitive problems initially or a tremor, particularly a cerebellum tremor, is a bad sign.