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Continuous Disease-Modifying Treatment Without Interruptions Provides Better Long-Term Outcomes in Multiple Sclerosis

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:20pm -
Presented at European Neurological Society (ENS).
By Judith Moser, MD

MILAN, Italy -- June 23, 2009 -- Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who adhere to their treatment with interferon (IFN) beta-1a without interruption have lower relapse and progression rates than patients who do not adhere to their medication as regularly, said researchers here at the 19th Meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS).

In the Prevention of Relapses and disability by Interferon beta-1a Subcutaneously in Multiple Sclerosis (PRISMS) study, IFN beta-1a 22 or 44 mcg administered subcutaneously 3 times weekly proved effective in reducing relapses and delaying disability progression in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) compared with placebo.

After the initial 2-year double-blind phase, patients originally randomised to placebo were re-randomised to IFN beta-1a 22 or 44 mcg 3 times weekly for an additional 2 years.

On study completion, all patients were offered the choice of continuing to receive blinded or open-label treatment during years 5 to 6. Beyond year 6, patients could continue on any or no disease-modifying drug.

Data from the long-term follow-up (LTFU, up to 8 years) supported the efficacy of the treatment.

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