Treatment of Multiple System Atrophy
A number of drugs can be used to treat the various symptoms of MSA, although they become less effective as the disease progresses.
- Levodopa and dopamine agonists used to treat Parkinson's disease are sometimes effective for the slowness and rigidity of MSA.
- Orthostatic hypotension can be improved with fludrocortisone, midodrine, or other drugs that raise blood pressure.
- Male impotence may be treated with penile implants or drugs.
- Incontinence may be treated with medications or catheterization.
- Constipation may improve with increased dietary fiber or laxatives.
- A speech-language pathologist may be able to offer strategies for improving swallowing and speaking. Use of softer foods may improve the ability to swallow. A gastrostomy tube, which delivers foods directly to the stomach, is occasionally needed later in the disease course.