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What Is Teriflunomide Used For?

As a type of multiple sclerosis treatment, teriflunomide is used to treat relapsing-remitting and progressive-relapsing forms of the disease. The exact way in which it works is unclear, but it is thought to prevent MS relapses by reducing the number of a certain type of white blood cell in the body. This prescription drug is approved for use in adults only.

An Overview of Uses for Teriflunomide

Teriflunomide (Aubagio®) is a prescription medication approved to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. It belongs to a group of medicines known as immunomodulators, or immune-modulating medicines. 
 
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease in which the body's immune system attacks the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). During an MS attack, the immune system destroys myelin, the fatty covering that insulates nerve cell fibers in the brain and spinal cord. The damaged myelin forms scar tissue, known as sclerosis. In addition, the nerves themselves may become damaged.
 
When nerves and myelin are damaged, nerves impulses don't flow smoothly between the brain and spinal cord. This can lead to various symptoms of the disease.
 
Multiple sclerosis affects each person differently, depending on how much damage there is to the nerves and myelin, and where the damage is located. Some of the more common symptoms of the disease include:
   
(Click on Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis to learn about other possible symptoms of this condition.)
 
There are four main patterns of MS. For most people, symptoms come and go unpredictably.
 
The times when a person is having symptoms are called relapses or flare-ups. Relapses can last for days or weeks, and are followed by a period of partial or complete recovery. Few to no symptoms occur during this recovery period (period of remission) and the disease does not progress. This type of multiple sclerosis is called relapsing-remitting MS.
 
Progressive-relapsing is a rare form of MS in which there is a progressive worsening of the disease. With this form of MS, relapses may or may not be followed by some recovery, but there are no remissions.
 
(Click Types of Multiple Sclerosis to learn more about these types of the disease, as well as the other two types -- primary-progressive and secondary-progressive.)
 
Teriflunomide is approved to treat the relapsing forms of MS. There is no cure for MS, but medications like teriflunomide can help reduce the number of disease relapses.
 
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Teriflunomide Drug Information

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