Category Archives: Learn About MS

What is Optic Neuritis?

Optic Neuritis is one of the more common presenting symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and can cause blurred vision, color blindness, loss of vision, pain behind the eyes and even flashing/flickering lights. This usually occurs in one eye but both eyes being affected is not uncommon. Typically people just complain about their vision blurring and never experience anything else.

Nuvigil for MS Fatigue; My Experience

Nuvigil (Armodafinil) is a medication used to “promote wakefulness” when treating people with disorders like narcolepsy, sleep apnea or shift work sleep disorder. In Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Nuvigil is a popular choice for treating fatigue. Nuvigil is often compared to Adderall which is primarily used to treat ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) but I am not sure if it is also an actual amphetamine or not; from what I gather, the chemical structure is very similar. That being said, Adderall is a schedule II controlled substance and Nuvigil is a schedule IV. Schedule II is defined as “drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous” where schedule IV is defined as “drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence”. Just for reference, there are 5 schedules (I-V) and the lower the number the more “dangerous”; heroin is a schedule I drug and a cough medication like Robitussin is schedule V. So knowing that I have to imagine it is not exactly the same.

What is Spasticity? Tight Muscles and Stiff Limbs

Spasticity is an involuntary (and constant) contraction of muscles and in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) this usually occurs in the legs. Though many people with MS can say they suffer from spasticity the severity can range from a minor feeling of tightness to painful spasms to an inability to move the legs well enough to walk properly. Many people commonly describe spasticity in the legs as a feeling of being stiff or rigid causing them to feel like they are trying to walk on wooden stilts. When occurring in the legs spasticity can also lead to lower back pain but though spasticity usually occurs in the legs it also occurs in the arms.

Is Lemtrada (Alemtuzumab) Chemotherapy?

When I was first thinking about using Lemtrada for treating my Multiple Sclerosis this was the first question that came to mind. So many people told me that yes, Lemtrada was chemo. Then a bunch of people started telling me that no, it wasn’t! I could not seem to find a straight answer but I did find that a lot of people were asking this question too! I joined a huge Facebook group for people who had done Lemtrada, were going to do it and people who were just thinking about it. All the moderators (the people who ran the group) insisted that it was not a type of chemo despite all the facts I had gathered while trying to answer my own question. I was told that they did not want anyone to associate Lemtrada with chemo because it “might scare people”. Well, I was not happy with such an answer; I don’t censor the truth to satisfy someone’s agenda… That will only hurt people so I left the group because I felt that spreading the word on what they believed was a disservice to people with Multiple Sclerosis. I feel people should know all the facts when treating themselves with a new medication.