New pill on the block

I was thrilled to see that another oral therapy for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis* has been approved by the FDA. With the arrival of Tecfidera (formerly "BG-12"), which should be available by prescription any time now, there are three oral therapies and a total of 10 disease-modifying treatments available in the U.S.
When I was diagnosed in 2001, there were just four therapies available. I take the fact that that number has more than doubled – and that options have expanded to include oral therapies in addition to the injectables – as a sign of the progress science has made in tackling this mysterious disease.
Having a new oral therapy on the market also makes me wonder, as I have several times in the past, whether I would be inclined to trade my daily injections for pills. I have been on the same therapy since I was diagnosed, and I have to say I’ve grown pretty attached to it.
Not that I like the big dents in my legs where the shots I give myself have degraded the underlying tissue. Nor am I a huge fan of the blue bruises on the undersides of my upper arms that mark the spots of those injection sites. And sometimes the shots I give myself in my belly just plain hurt. But I am thankful that I have never had a problem with my medication – and double triple thankful that the stuff, knock on wood, seems to be doing a great job at keeping my disease at bay.
Such a great job, in fact, that I don’t think I’d be inclined to switch to an oral therapy just for the convenience of it. But for all my fellow MSers whose therapies aren’t proving sufficient, and for all those newly diagnosed people who are sorting through their therapeutic options, I’m thrilled that this new pill’s available and that more are on the way.
You can read more about Tecfidera here and about the full array of MS therapies here.
*People with relapsing-remitting MS and people with secondary-progressive MS and progressive-relapsing MS who continue to have relapses


Jennifer LaRue Huget, Blogger

Jennifer LaRue Huget was diagnosed with MS in 2001. A freelance writer and children's book author, she lives in Connecticut with her husband, two teenage kids, and two brown dogs. Her website is

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  • mysonjonny37  Jun 17, 2013 12:44 PM
    I truly wish my son had talked to more individuals like you when he was first diagnosed. Unfortunately, due to people on the internet with "superfoods" that say shots and pills are bad, he has not stayed on the meds he was prescribed. He's nearly 37 so I have little control over his decisions. He is progressively getting worse. I am afraid his frustration and loneliness is not helping things. Thanks for listening. Jonny's Mom
  • DJ   Jun 22, 2013 7:43 AM
    I was diagnosed at 29 and will be 35 next month. I was depressed when I got the news. But I truly think MS runs is hereditary, genetic or both due to the fact my maternal grandmother, great aunt, two aunts and an uncle all have diagnosed decades apart. I don`t let this disease deter me in any way. Matter of fact, I graduate in October as a LPN and hope of getting my RN in the near future. I have MS ,MS doesn`t have me :)
  • Declan Ryan   Jul 1, 2015 3:33 PM
    Great reading.
  • Sj   Apr 28, 2016 12:18 PM
    I have RRMS and have all electric chair that I bought at a tremendously low price but does anyone know where I could get a used hydrolic lift? I have a truck that sits high because it's 4x4 and diesel (I'm heat sensitive) and new they run about $1,500 which I can't afford. I recently started lemtrada which I am hoping will stop progression but like most of you, I get tired very quickly in the store