Relapsing MS Signs and Symptoms

Understanding relapses, symptoms, disability progression, and lesions

During your disease course, existing symptoms may worsen, or new symptoms may appear during a flare-up as your MS progresses. If you have any questions about relapsing MS symptoms, the best source of information is your healthcare provider.

TYSABRI is indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of MS.

TYSABRI is not indicated to treat the individual symptoms of relapsing MS, including those listed below.

Some of the common symptoms* of MS include:

  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Difficulties with attention, learning, and memory
  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle rigidity or stiffness
  • Weakness or poor coordination
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Pain in arms and legs
  • Visual disturbances

To learn more about the symptoms of relapsing MS, talk with your healthcare provider.

* Currently, there are no disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) indicated to treat the symptoms listed, including TYSABRI.


Relapses, also known as flare-ups or exacerbations, are new symptoms or a worsening of existing symptoms. Their severity and duration are often unpredictable. If you think that you might be having a relapse, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider.

Flare-ups may vary in severity and can last from a few days to several months. On average, people who don't treat their relapsing MS have about 1 flare-up per year. Although that may not sound like a lot, even infrequent or mild flare-ups can cause permanent damage to the central nervous system and may lead to future disability.

MS causes brain lesions that can be detected by MRI

MS causes brain lesions that can be visualized with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRIs are able to show both recent lesion development and previous lesion damage. Some common types of lesions that can be visualized with MRIs include:

  • Gd+ enhanced lesions: Lesions that show active inflammation using a dye containing gadolinium
  • T2 lesions: Lesions that show the long-term impact of inflammation on the brain
  • T1 lesions: Lesions that show damage that may be permanent

The exact relationship between MRI findings and your overall health is not clear. However, MRIs are commonly used to help you and your healthcare provider track MS activity in your body.

Healthcare providers can't say for sure if there is a link between brain lesions and the progression of physical disability. But, it's important to talk with your neurologist about each one of your MRIs because that may help with working out a treatment plan moving forward.


Learn about the different relapsing MS treatment options that are available... More >>

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TYSABRI® (natalizumab) is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) to slow the worsening of symptoms common in people with MS and to decrease the number of flare-ups (relapses). TYSABRI increases the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). When starting and continuing treatment with TYSABRI, it is important to discuss with your doctor whether the expected benefit of TYSABRI is enough to outweigh this risk.

Important Safety Information

TYSABRI increases your risk of getting a rare brain infection—called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)—that usually leads to death or severe disability.

Before receiving TYSABRI, it is important to tell your doctor:
TYSABRI can cause serious side effects. If you have any of the symptoms listed below, call your doctor right away:
The most common side effects of TYSABRI are:
These are not all of the possible side effects of TYSABRI. For more information, ask your doctor. To report side effects to FDA, please call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see Full Prescribing Information (PDF) including Boxed Warning and Patient Medication Guide (PDF).

This information is not intended to replace discussions with your healthcare provider.