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AUBAGIO® (teriflunomide) is a prescription medicine used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults.

Do not take AUBAGIO if you have severe liver problems, are pregnant or of childbearing potential and not using effective birth control, have had an allergic reaction to AUBAGIO or leflunomide, or are taking a medicine called leflunomide for rheumatoid arthritis. View IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION.

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Living Well > Doing well by doing good: The health benefits of volunteering

The health benefits of volunteering


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Doing good for others can really do good for you, too. Learn about some benefits you can get from volunteering and read some tips to get you started.

Volunteering can help lower stress and boost self-confidence. It can help you feel more socially connected and give you a strong sense of well-being. It can even help you stay physically and mentally active.1 There is no specific guideline for how much you should volunteer to gain a health benefit, but some studies have looked at an hour or two each week as a baseline.


Here are some health benefits you might experience through volunteering.


A renewed sense of purpose

This can be especially helpful for adults who are no longer engaged as full-time parents or wage-earners.2


A greater sense of well-being and life satisfaction

Volunteering can help you enjoy a sense of purpose and fulfillment—which can lead to a greater sense of well-being.1


Reduced stress and anxiety

Helping others can help distract you from your own stress. The social networks you form can provide a buffer from stress, as well.2


Alleviate depression

Research shows that people who volunteer have fewer depression symptoms. This is particularly true for older adults.1,2


Stay active in body and mind

Volunteering may help keep you physically and mentally active.1 Getting out of the house, learning new tasks, and meeting new people can keep you active and engaged.

Ready to get started?

If you’re interested in paying it forward, here are some questions to ask yourself:


  1. Do you want to grow or expand your social network?
  2. Are you passionate about a cause?
  3. Do you want to get exposed to new people or new ideas?
  4. Do you want to develop new interests or hobbies?

These questions can help you better understand your personal goals for volunteering. Once you narrow your reasons for volunteering, think about what you can offer. Consider the following:


  • Would you want to work with animals, children or adults in need? Do you have skills or experience in these areas?
  • Are you interested in the arts, history or nature? How can you share that knowledge or interest?
  • What skills do you have that a charity or organization can use? (Think broadly. Specific skills learned from a profession, general skills such as project- or people-management and certain hobbies such as photography, video editing, or social media can be very helpful to charitable causes.)
  • How much time can you commit?

What kind of volunteer options are available to me?

The following is a small list of common volunteer opportunities to spark ideas. For specific opportunities near you, visit VolunteerMatch.


  • Local animal shelters or rescues
  • National and local parks and land conservation
  • Art museums and historical societies
  • Political campaigns
  • Local hospitals and health centers
  • Youth organizations, senior care centers or hospice care
  • Veteran’s causes
  • Service organizations such as the Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs or Red Cross

Looking to give back to others with MS?

You can volunteer with nonprofit organizations such as the National MS Society or the MS Association of America.


What if I have limited mobility or need special accommodations?

There are plenty of ways you can still volunteer. In today’s digital world, many organizations need help with writing, graphic design, sending emails and mail, database entry and other tasks that can be accomplished remotely. While you may not fully benefit from the richness of new social connections, you can still experience a sense of well-being from helping others.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not take AUBAGIO if you have severe liver problems. AUBAGIO may cause serious liver problems, including liver failure that can be life-threatening and may require a liver transplant. View More

INDICATION

AUBAGIO® (teriflunomide) is a prescription medicine used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

DO NOT TAKE AUBAGIO IF YOU:
  • Have severe liver problems. AUBAGIO may cause serious liver problems, including liver failure that can be life-threatening and may require a liver transplant. Your risk may be higher if you already have liver problems or take other medicines that affect your liver. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests to check your liver within 6 months before you start AUBAGIO and monthly for 6 months after starting AUBAGIO. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you develop any of these symptoms of liver problems: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, tiredness, yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, or dark urine.
  • Are pregnant. AUBAGIO may harm an unborn baby. You should have a pregnancy test before starting AUBAGIO. After stopping AUBAGIO, continue to use effective birth control until you have made sure your blood levels of AUBAGIO are lowered. If you become pregnant while taking AUBAGIO or within 2 years after stopping, tell your healthcare provider right away and enroll in the AUBAGIO Pregnancy Registry at 1-800-745-4447, option 2.
  • Are of childbearing potential and not using effective birth control.

    It is not known if AUBAGIO passes into breast milk. Your healthcare provider can help you decide if you should take AUBAGIO or breastfeed — you should not do both at the same time.

    If you are a man whose partner plans to become pregnant, you should stop taking AUBAGIO and talk with your healthcare provider about reducing the levels of AUBAGIO in your blood. If your partner does not plan to become pregnant, use effective birth control while taking AUBAGIO.

  • Have had an allergic reaction to AUBAGIO or a medicine called leflunomide.
  • Take a medicine called leflunomide for rheumatoid arthritis.

AUBAGIO may stay in your blood for up to 2 years after you stop taking it. Your healthcare provider can prescribe a medicine that can remove AUBAGIO from your blood quickly.

Before taking AUBAGIO, talk with your healthcare provider if you have: liver or kidney problems; a fever or infection, or if you are unable to fight infections; numbness or tingling in your hands or feet that is different from your MS symptoms; diabetes; serious skin problems when taking other medicines; breathing problems; or high blood pressure. Your healthcare provider will check your blood cell count and TB test before you start AUBAGIO. Talk with your healthcare provider if you take or are planning to take other medicines (especially medicines for treating cancer or controlling your immune system), over-the-counter medicines, vitamins or herbal supplements.

AUBAGIO may cause serious side effects. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • decreases in white blood cell count — this may cause you to have more infections. Symptoms include fever, tiredness, body aches, chills, nausea, or vomiting. Patients with low white blood cell count should not receive certain vaccinations during AUBAGIO treatment and 6 months after.
  • allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, itching, or swelling on any part of your body including lips, eyes, throat, or tongue. Stop taking AUBAGIO and call your doctor right away.
  • serious skin reactions that may lead to death. Stop taking AUBAGIO if you have rash or redness and peeling, mouth sores or blisters.
  • other allergic reactions that may affect different parts of the body. If you have a fever or rash in combination with severe muscle pain, swollen lymph glands, swelling of your face, unusual bruising or bleeding, weakness or tiredness, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, stop taking AUBAGIO and call your doctor right away.
  • numbness or tingling in your hands or feet that is different from your MS symptoms
  • high blood pressure
  • breathing problems (new or worsening) — these may be serious and lead to death

The most common side effects when taking AUBAGIO include: headache; diarrhea; nausea; hair thinning or loss; and abnormal liver test results. These are not all the side effects of AUBAGIO. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you.

Consult your healthcare provider if you have questions about your health or any medications you may be taking, including AUBAGIO.

Please click here for full Prescribing Information, including boxed WARNING and Medication Guide.

References

1. Thoits, P and Hewitt, L. Volunteer Work and Well-Being. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 2001, Vol 42, (June): 115–131.

2. Yeung et al. Volunteering and health benefits in general adults: cumulative effects and forms BMC Public Health (2018) 18:8

3. Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Research and Policy Development. The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research, Washington, DC 2007.