How to Be Your Own Advocate at the Doctor’s Office When Diagnosed With Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

Fitness

Of the FDA-approved treatments for relapsing MS, one of the medications Dr. Wray considers for her patients is VUMERITY® (diroximel fumarate). VUMERITY is a pill that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2019 for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS in adults.2 It is not known if VUMERITY is safe and effective in children. VUMERITY may work against relapsing MS in three ways: reducing relapses, delaying the progression of disability, and slowing development of brain lesions, which are goals of relapsing MS treatment.

Before taking and while you take VUMERITY, it’s important to talk to your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you have liver or kidney problems, have or have had low white blood cell counts or an infection, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It’s also crucial to discuss all the medicines you take and any reactions to previous medicines. You should not take VUMERITY if you’ve had an allergic reaction to diroximel fumarate, dimethyl fumarate or any of the ingredients in VUMERITY.

As always, before taking any medicine, it’s important to talk with your healthcare provider about the potential side effects associated with treatment. The possible risks and serious side effects of VUMERITY include allergic reaction; PML, a rare brain infection that usually leads to death or severe disability; herpes zoster infection (or shingles); including central nervous system infections and other serious infection; decreases in white blood cell count; and liver problems. The most common side effects are flushing and stomach problems.

If you have relapsing MS, or believe you may have relapsing MS, talk with your healthcare provider about whether VUMERITY is right for you. Visit VUMERITY.com for more information.

Open conversation doesn’t end once you’ve determined a treatment plan: Every appointment with your healthcare provider is an opportunity to address any questions, concerns, or topics you want to cover. Dr. Wray recommends organizing your thoughts into a list before your appointments. Write down every subject you want to talk about in order of importance, then go down the list with your healthcare provider. It can be a handwritten note or list on your phone — whatever works best for you. People who have been prescribed VUMERITY also have access to the myVUMERITY™ app, a tool designed to help you keep track of your treatment routine, including setting dose reminders and emailing your dosing log to your healthcare team.

Last but not least, Dr. Wray said she tells her patients to try not to be overly stressed about receiving a new diagnosis on top of the pressures from work, family, and other responsibilities. Instead, remember to stay in close contact with your healthcare provider and others on your healthcare team to help facilitate open and honest discussions about what you’re going through.

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