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LEMTRADA is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Because of its risks, LEMTRADA is generally used in people who have tried 2 or more MS medicines that have not worked well enough. It is not known if LEMTRADA is safe and effective for use in children under 17 years of age.

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Finding the Right Fit LEMTRADA patient blogger: Katy By Katy, Wife, Writer, and Yoga Instructor • June 14, 2018

LEMTRADA® (alemtuzumab) patient, Katy, discusses the importance of finding the right fit for your healthcare team

Seeing my current neurologist was my mom’s idea. I’ve always believed that having a good healthcare team is a crucial part of treatment. And having lived with the disease for many years, my mom knew the value of finding a specialist who shared her optimism and determination when it came to treating relapsing MS. We were both thrilled to have found a neurologist to help us navigate the disease.

The doctor put me at ease from the very beginning. He asked lots of questions, not just about my symptoms and disease, but also about my life in general. Being in my early 20s at the time, I appreciated his dedication to focusing on my life and my needs.

During the first few years of my time receiving care from my neurologist, I was taking an injectable disease-modifying therapy. I thought I was doing well on the medication, but when I relapsed, I was glad I felt comfortable enough with my doctor to talk openly about each and every new symptom that developed.

My relapses caused me to lose vision in my left eye and have trouble with my left foot. I knew something was wrong, but I felt confident that I could work with my doctor. 

My doctor and I had an open and honest exchange of information as we tried to map out a game plan that made sense with my life and the course of my relapsing MS. Because I was not responding to the two therapies I had been on previously, a medication called LEMTRADA sounded like a promising option.

My neurologist explained the potential benefits, which included reduced relapses and slowed disability progression, as well as the possible risks, such as autoimmune problems and infections. We also talked about the possible negative side effects that could happen during or after the infusions. Because LEMTRADA would be administered through an IV infusion in two treatment courses over two years, I would no longer need to inject myself multiple times a week.

The first course would be given on 5 consecutive days and the second course would be given on 3 consecutive days 1 year later. I was ready to try something else.

My doctor also walked me through the required monitoring, which includes monthly blood and urine lab tests until 4 years or more after your last LEMTRADA infusion. He also told me about the ongoing symptom self-checks and yearly skin checks I would have to do. These tests help to monitor for possible serious side effects, including autoimmune side effects, and skin cancer (melanoma).

Communication was key as I launched into my first round of treatment, I am keenly aware of my physical health and any changes that I notice from day to day, month to month. And I don’t hesitate to call my neurologist and his nurse if I have any concerns.

Having strong support from your healthcare providers and your loved ones is critical when living with MS, and I am blessed to be surrounded by both. Just like different medications work for different people, I think everyone should try to find a healthcare provider who works for you. Someone who will make sure you’re on a medication that’s right for you, and who takes all aspects of your life into account.

If you have found a neurologist who makes you feel comfortable when you need to be candid about your disease, stick with him or her. When something doesn’t feel quite right, it’s imperative that you have a neurologist who will work with you to find the right treatment option for you.

And if you haven’t found quite the right fit, take time to look around. Your time will pay dividends in the long run.

  • DIAGNOSIS
  • disability progression
  • healthcare provider
  • LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS



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  • FAMILY
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  • YEAR 1
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  • THE DECISION
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  • LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
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