MS Treatments (July 2017)

 First-line treatment

  1. Interferon beta-1b
    Extavia (Novartis)
    Betaferon (Bayer)
    The first drug that was approved for treatment of MS, interferon beta-1b inflammation in the central nervous system.
    The most common side effects include injection site reactions and GI symptoms, such as stomach pain, constipation, and diarrhoea
  2. Interferon beta-1a
    Avonex (Biogen)
    Rebif (Serono)
    An injectable medication, interferon beta-1a reduces inflammation, possibly through the reduction of T cell production and also reduction of inflammatory cells in the CNS. Like interferon beta- 1b, it is believed to prevent the crossing of inflammatory cells through the blood-brain barrier
    The most common side effects include injection site reactions and fevers
  3. Glatiramer acetate (Copaxone by Teva)
    This immunomodulator is used to prevent relapses.
    Subcutaneous injectable
    The most common side effects include injection site reactions, fevers, double vision, weakness, and swelling of the hands or feet
  4. Dimethyl Fumarate (Tecfidera by Biogen)
    This works as an anti-inflammatory by blocking cytokine induction.
    Oral medication
    The most common side effects include flushing, rash, and GI symptoms
  5. Peginterferon beta-1a (Plegridy by Biogen)
    Similar to interferon is believed to have an extended duration.
    The most common side effects include injection site reactions, fevers. and joint pain
  6. Daclizumab (Zinbryta by Biogen)
    This medication is believed to reduce T cells. The suggested mechanism is through binding to the IL- 2 T cell receptors
    Subcutaneous injectable
    The most common side effects include upper respiratory tract infection and skin rash
  7. Teriflunomide (Aubagio by Sanofi Genzyme)
    This immunomodulatory drug is believed to work by inhibiting the proliferation of T cells and B cells.
    Oral medication
    It may cause abnormal liver tests, flu-like symptoms, and thinning hair

Continue reading MS Treatments (July 2017)

UNCRPD, Ireland’s ten-year moral outrage

Ad nauseam.

Ah yes, you know the term.

In proper Wikipedia language, it reads “An argument or other discussion that has continued ‘to [the point of] nausea.” In Irish slang, “We are bloody well tired of talking or hearing about it.”

And that, dear reader, we are. Severely sick and tired of hearing that the Irish government will ratify the UNCRPD by a specified date, only to find out that they very silently forgot to live by that promise. Needless to say, having the gift of the gab in Dáil Éireann is an advantage, yet those we elected to represent our very needs refuse to use that gift when it matters most. Continue reading UNCRPD, Ireland’s ten-year moral outrage

💋 Kiss Goodbye to MS 2017 💋

s3dmvsjpwzpbtbpf2yepqgcsovic3hfh_gblfgsfq4m-300x252I agree it has been fairly quiet here. A lot has happened the past few months which required the usual RRS, the almighty Rest, Relaxation, and Sleep. New things are still taking shape, so do hang around or drop me an email.

💋💋💋 Pucker up in the meantime in February! Go RED to KISS GOODBYE TO MS, the global fundraising campaign, supported by MS Ireland also. Donate €4 to MS research when you text Smooch to 50300 💋💋💋

New posts will appear soon, though, so keep an eye on your email or WordPress account!

Talk soon!



©WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2017. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Health Organisations – Ireland


NOTE: for mental health organisations in Ireland, please go to this webpage

Overview of health services for people with disabilities

Entitlements for people with disabilities in Ireland

Disability Federation of Ireland

Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI)

Disability Consultancy Services

Enable Ireland

Inclusion Ireland

Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA)

Leap Ireland

Rehab Ireland (Rehabilitation for Disabled People)

Health – General

Health Service Executive (HSE)

Medical Councel Ireland

Irish Medicines Board (IMB)

Press Office of the Department of Health, Ireland

Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)

Updated: June 27th, 2017

© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, MS and Me, 2011-2017. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WVE and Ireland, MS and Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Disable Inequality’s been rather quiet down here. The past four to five months, I’ve been involved in disability rights campaigns and had a long much-needed Christmas and New Year’s break. I’m now back to passive campaigning in some form or another while having the flu… it’s never boring in MS-land.

With the Irish election campaign in full swing, it’s difficult combining high-powered fatigue issues and other MS symptoms with the amount of advocating I want to do. The first and second are, as most of you know, difficult to tackle, the latter not acted upon enough. I’m still dedicated to writing for my blog, though, and also for the Novartis and Irish MS Society blogs.

There is one thing I would like to highlight. In my belief, disability rights are something we all need to fight for because sooner or later, we will all be confronted with it. Quite often people portray to care about those with chronic illnesses and disabilities, yet they don’t. Either we are “not accountable in steering our country forward,” and therefore, are seen as “a burden on society.”

This has to end

By the time of my MS diagnosis 2.5 years after moving to Ireland, I already knew about the state of Irish health services after ending up with a knee injury, appendicitis, and endometriosis. Clearly, the focus of the Irish government between 2002 and 2010 was solely directed at job creation, providing new housing and playing golf games with bank managers and celebrities. Continue reading Disable Inequality

Are you Cinderella yet?

Almog albalach_Clock Flares_YEJqQwSome days I feel like a half-baked Cinderella. There’s some promise at 8am, but by 10am my fairy tale book is closed until further notice. In the background, that all-important Cinderella clock keeps ticking forward. My body is in a rut: sleeping, eating, exercising, resting, eating, sleeping and back again.

And that Cinderella shoe?

Taken by someone else altogether.

In other words, and very much like  a psychological broken record, I keep finding out that I am 100% present, but physically I am a goner. Continue reading Are you Cinderella yet?

Irish public transport: access all areas?

The-new-footbridge-was-built-in-2004Ah, public transport in Ireland… Two-track train stations without elevators or escalators. Buses with seats for supposedly elderly or people with disabilities. Crutches or walking sticks that should indicate some form of disability…

People with disabilities have all been there. Literally too tired to walk another mile, they find steep, rusty, wet and windy staircases over train tracks instead of escalators and/or elevators in train stations. Absolutely, public transport in Ireland is slowly moving into the 21st century, with new footbridges being built with elevators inside them, but still… constructing and/or adapting them is not happening fast enough. Continue reading Irish public transport: access all areas?

EMSP Spring Conference 2014, Dublin

emspThis year is the European Year of the Brain, and 2014 also marks the 25th birthday of the EMSP, the European MS Platform.

Unequivocally and visibly astonished, that’s what I am right this minute. The quality of yet another MS organisation and the hard work they do, makes me want to jump up and down. Digging deeper into the work of the EMSP because of their upcoming two-day conference in Dublin, I can only say one thing: ‘People with MS are in very, very good hands, with people with- or without MS standing up for them wherever they are.’

Continue reading EMSP Spring Conference 2014, Dublin

MS Trust 21 Challenge

The MS Trust posed me a great question, asking me to help spread a word about the UK Awareness Week that runs from April 28th to May 4th. I do love a challenge,  so anyway I can help from my keyboard, I happily attack!

So, do you feel like a challenge? How about a fun way to raise awareness regarding MS? Check out the UK’s MS Trust website to be inspired, take a stance and do something worthwhile. MS Trust’s Awareness Week and we want you involved!

The trust was set up 21 years ago, and is celebrating this by inviting everyone to join their 21 day challenge and sponsor, shout and help others spread the word about MS Trust’s Awareness Week from April 28th to May 4th. Continue reading MS Trust 21 Challenge