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Expert opinion on biological therapy

Clinical effects and tolerability of high-dose, high-frequency recombinant interferon beta-1a in patients with multiple sclerosis: maximizing therapy through long-term adherence.


PMID 20218924

Abstract

High-dose, high-frequency IFN beta-1a in multiple sclerosis (MS) can prevent lesion formation, decrease the frequency/severity of relapses and delay progression of disability, with a proven safety profile. Rates of non-adherence are high. There are drugs under investigation that may have greater efficacy and different safety profiles from existing therapies. Evidence supporting the efficacy of IFN beta-1a, factors contributing to non-adherence, and strategies to combat non-adherence. It is hoped that these strategies, coupled with future advances in pharmacogenetics, might lead to better outcomes. The PubMed database was searched using the terms "multiple sclerosis" and "interferon beta-1a", for papers published between 1998 and 2010. Relevant manuscripts and pivotal papers from clinical trials were cited. Searches of abstracts from congresses were also performed to obtain recent findings. An overview of early pivotal trials, comparative studies with other treatments, and recent studies assessing the development of this therapy. Long-term treatment with IFN beta-1a has benefits in MS and a good safety profile. Although adherence outside of clinical trials can be poor, injection devices, better tolerated drug formulations and education regarding treatment expectations are some of the strategies employed to help patients to adhere to treatment in the hope of improving outcomes.