About MS Relapse

Effective treatment of MS relapse begins with understanding the disease.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the immune system, or an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases develop when your immune system, which usually defends against disease, begins to attack healthy cells. In MS, the immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS).

MS is often characterized by relapses—also called exacerbations, flares, or attacks—which can be identified when existing symptoms get worse or when new symptoms appear. This is what’s called an active disease state for MS.

Anyone with MS can experience an MS relapse, even if you’re taking a disease-modifying therapy (DMT). Because even though DMTs can lower the number of relapses you have over time, they may not totally prevent them. That’s why there are medications for MS relapse, specifically to help speed symptom relief.

Signs and symptoms of MS relapse

As with many conditions, different people experience MS relapse in different ways. And each relapse can be different from the last. That’s why it can be so tough to tell if you’re having symptoms of MS relapse, or just not feeling well due to other causes.

BRAIN AND CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Muscle tightness or stiffness
  • Burning or itching
  • Chewing/swallowing problems
  • Speech changes

CEREBELLUM/BRAIN STEM

  • Coordination difficulty
  • Poor balance
  • Difficulty walking
  • Facial numbness
  • Eye movement problems, causing dizziness and double vision

OPTIC NERVE

  • Loss of vision
  • Suddenly blurred or “foggy” vision, sometimes described as “disturbed” or “blackened”
  • Pain in movement of eye, sometimes followed by visual loss
  • Color blindness, especially the color red

SPINAL CORD

  • Hand/arm tingling
  • Numbness/tingling
  • Leg/foot weakness
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Sexual problems

CLICK THE TO EXPLORE

common MS relapse symptoms and the part of the body they are associated with

These are just some of the symptoms associated with an MS relapse. Symptoms can vary from person to person, so be sure to talk to your doctor about any you may be having.

Think you’re having an MS relapse?

Let your doctor know immediately so you can get the treatment you need. Our Doctor Discussion Guide can help you get the conversation started.

DOWNLOAD DISCUSSION GUIDE

Learn more about symptoms of MS relapse and Acthar as an option for speeding relief in adults.

WATCH NOW

Even if you’re not experiencing an MS relapse right now, it’s good to have a plan for when you do.