During the progression of the chronic neurological disease multiple sclerosis, people will experience periods of time when their symptoms get worse.  This is usually referred to as a MS flare up.  A multiple sclerosis flare up can come on without warning and it can occur at any time.  This can make it a very frustrating problem to deal with for the multiple sclerosis patient.  Without warning, a person who was in a state of remission could suddenly be experiencing painful symptoms and be in a state of disability.  This not only affects a person’s physical health, but it can also affect their mental health and wellbeing as well.

When a flare up happens, it can happen quite suddenly.  Any symptoms that are new and last more than 24 hours can signal a flare up or relapse.  It is important to have a plan in place in case of a flare up or a relapse.  Talk to your doctor in order to know what action to take if your symptoms suddenly worsen.  Consider sharing this plan with your loved ones and caregivers, as well as the rest of your medical support team.  This way, everyone will be on the same page in case a flare up happens.


Treatment Options for a MS Flare Up


A flare up can cause a variety of very painful and disabling symptoms.  Luckily, there are several different treatment options available for a flare up or a relapse.  These treatments are usually aggressive, short term prescription medications that are designed to reduce the symptoms as much as possible.  They are typically in injection form or given through an intravenous drip.  This means they will need to be administered at a multiple sclerosis clinic or hospital.  Some types of injections can be done at home, but people will need to be educated on how to properly give themselves the medication in order to avoid infections.

Because the medications used for flare ups and relapses are strong, they do have some serious side effects.  Doctors will want to monitor any multiple sclerosis patients while they are undergoing flare up treatment.  This is to keep track of any side effects and to be sure the symptoms are not getting any worse.  A flare up can last for days or weeks, so be sure to keep in touch with your doctor during this time.