Multiple Sclerosis- Pharmacist

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory and degenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS) generally affecting the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is characterized by demyelination of nerve fibers (axons) and subsequent loss of neuronal transmission. At least 400,000 Americans and over 2 million people worldwide have MS; it is not a rare disease. Its onset is usually between the ages of 20 and 50 years old, but it can appear in children as well as older adults. Women are affected 2 to 3 times more often than men. MS has a variable clinical course that is generally progressive, leading to some degree of disability over time in the majority of patients. It is the leading cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults; without treatment, about half of patients require a cane to walk 10 years following diagnosis and about 15% require a wheelchair. The cause of MS remains unknown; however, research in this area is rapidly growing. Current theories suggest a complex relationship among certain environmental and genetic factors and the immune system. Before the release of the first disease-modifying drug (DMD), interferon beta 1b (IFN-ß1b) in 1993, the available medications for MS targeted only the relief of symptomatic problems. Today, a total of 9 DMDs are approved for use in the US for relapsing forms of MS. Research has suggested that neurological damage early in the course of MS results in long-term neurological impairment. Consequently, many experts recommend early initiation of treatment with DMDs, at the time of the first attack – even before a definite diagnosis can be made – if the patient has magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings consistent with MS. DMDs are not a cure, but can reduce the frequency of relapses and may reduce the progression of disability. DMDs differ in their mechanisms of action, routes of administration, and side effects. Because treatment is usually lifelong, individualization of DMD therapy is critical to minimize side effects and maintain adherence. This issue provides an overview of MS and an update on the drugs used to manage the disease, including DMDs and medications used to treat associated symptomatic conditions. The primary focus will be on relapsing forms of MS and the newer, orally administered agents: fingolimod (Gilenya®), teriflunomide (Aubagio®), and dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera™).

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Course Information

Target Audience

Pharm/Nurse Drug Therapy

Knowledge Level

General Overview

This activity will apply to a broad range of learning needs/pharmacy settings. It may include common disease state/therapy overivews and/or general pharmacy needs such as medication errors, immunizations, or law topics.

Learning Objectives

Course Accreditation

  • Activity Type:
    Knowledge
  • CE Broker
  • Universal Activity Number:
    Pharmacist : 0428-0000-13-015-H01-P
PharmCon is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

PharmCon, Inc. is an approved course provider for continuing education for nurses by the Florida Board of Nursing. PharmCon is also recognized by the California Board of Nursing as a provider of nursing programs.

In order to obtain a Statement of Credit, attendees must answer poll questions where presented and complete a program evaluation. Attendees may immediately print their Statement of Credit or leave them stored on the website.

Technology Requirements

  • Hardware Requirements
    Standard Windows/Mac System
    iPad or iPhone
    Minimum screen resolution: 1024x768
    Speakers or headphones
  • Software Requirements
    Standard Windows/Mac System
    iPad or iPhone
    Minimum screen resolution: 1024x768
    Speakers or headphones
  • Network Requirements
    Broadband Internet Connection:
    T1, Hi-speed DSL or Cable
    4G cellular connection
Computer sharing is NOT permitted due to accreditation guidelines on activity monitoring. Credit is earned by one user per device.