Pharmacological management of symptoms in multiple sclerosis: current approaches and future directions

Lancet Neurol. 2010 Dec;9(12):1182-1199. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(10)70249-0.


Management of symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS) has received little attention compared with disease-modifying treatments. However, the effect of these symptoms on quality of life can be profound. Clinical trials of pharmacological drugs to treat symptoms of MS have often been underpowered and have used inappropriate measures of outcome. Many currently used symptomatic drugs were introduced decades ago, when study quality was considerably below current standards. Therefore, the evidence base on which to make clinical decisions is less than adequate. Interest in pharmacological treatment of symptoms in MS has increased in recent years, and several large randomised controlled trials have been reported. Pharmacological strategies are a core component of the treatment of these symptoms, but it is imperative to remember that a multidisciplinary rehabilitation approach is needed for effective management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Therapy / methods*
  • Drug Therapy / trends*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / trends