Although there is no evidence or data about how COVID-19 may affect patients on long-term treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS), NMOSD, or MOGAD, at the present our view is that people with these conditions would not normally need to stop taking a disease-modifying treatment as a result of the threat of the virus. For patients taking medications for MS such as Glatiramer Acetate (Copaxone® and Glatopa®) and beta interferons (Avonex, Plegridy, Rebif or Betaseron), which are not immunosuppressive medications, the risk is theoretically low.
If you are on immunosuppressive medications such as Mycophenolate (Cellcept®), azathioprine (Imuran®), methotrexate or other steroid-sparing medications, please make sure you update the safety laboratory testing (e.g., Complete blood cell count and differential, liver function test and immunoglobulins).
For patients on Tysabri, or B-cell therapies such as Rituximab or Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus®), a similar update of safety blood tests is recommended.
Glatiramer acetate (brand name: Copaxone), teriflunomide (brand name: Aubagio), dimethyl fumarate (brand name: Tecfidera) and beta-interferons (various brand names) are generally likely to be safer than the other DMTs as they are not considered to be generalized immunosuppressive therapies. We likewise recommend that people with MS who are taking natalizumab (Tysabri) continue as normal, noting that we will be closely monitoring the developing situation.