b'Medicine & ResearchRX UpdateSupplements andMultiple SclerosisBy Ellen Whipple, Pharm.D.A shift in the health care model towards a in a pill, capsule, tincture, spray, etc.) but arepatient-centric approach has revolutionized sometimes used in lotions or other forms.complementary alternative medicine in the Some supplements, such as vitamins D or B12,United States. According to the National Institute may be recommended by your doctor. Othersof Health, up to 40 percent of adults use CAM. may not be safe for someone with MS. WhichSome studies show that statistic to range even ones?higherfrom 37 percent to 100 percentin Immune BoostersHelpful or Harmful?patients with multiple sclerosis. These statistics People with the condition understand bettermake patient-provider discussions more than anyone that MS is a complicated diseaseimportant than ever before. According to Dr. that aects both the immune and nervousBen Thrower at the MS Institute at the Shepherd systems. In order to understand whichCenter in Atlanta, open patient-provider alternative medications are safe and unsafedialogues improve patient outcomes by in MS, it is necessary to examine the diseasepreventingdruginteractionsanddisease process. People with MS have an up-regulated,progression, and promoting quality of life. or overactive, immune system. This is oppositeDr. Thrower went on to explain that some from the suppressed immune system in apatientsarereluctanttodiscussCAM cancer or HIV patient. Therefore, the generalapproaches to therapy with providers becausethey think that providers may look down on rule of thumb for alternative medicine andthese therapies.MS is to avoid therapies that enhance orComplementary alternative medicine up-regulate the immune system. Theincludes an enormous range of nonconventional alternative medications listed below posetherapies, supplements, and practices that are potential risks for patients with MS becausethought to alleviate symptoms or improve oftheirimmune-stimulatingproperties.health. They may be used in addition to Because this is not an exhaustive list of(complementary) or in place of (alternative) medications, patients should generally beto conventional medications approved by the advised to check with the prescriber rst.U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In this article,AlfalfaEchinaceaGinseng, Siberianwe will primarily discuss supplements.Green teaArnicaGarlic supplementsSupplements is a broad term that canGoldensealLicoriceCats Clawinclude both herbs or vitamins/minerals. TheseGinseng, AsianGrape seed extractproducts are generally taken orally (by mouthSaw palmettomsfocusmagazine.org 56'