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      Interferon beta-1b is effective in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. I. Clinical results of a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The IFNB Multiple Sclerosis Study Group.

      Neurology

      Adult, Double-Blind Method, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Female, Humans, Interferon-beta, adverse effects, therapeutic use, Lymphopenia, etiology, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Multiple Sclerosis, diagnosis, therapy, Neurologic Examination, Recurrence, Treatment Outcome

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          Abstract

          We report a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of interferon beta-1b (IFNB) in 372 ambulatory patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Entry criteria included an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of 0 to 5.5 and at least two exacerbations in the previous 2 years. One-third of the patients received placebo, one-third 1.6 million international units (MIU) of IFNB, and one-third 8 MIU of IFNB, self-administered by subcutaneous injections every other day. The primary end points were differences in exacerbation rates and proportion of patients remaining exacerbation-free. The annual exacerbation rate for patients receiving placebo was 1.27; for 1.6 MIU IFNB, 1.17; and for 8 MIU IFNB, 0.84 after 2 years. Exacerbation rates were significantly lower in both treatment groups compared with the placebo group (8 MIU versus placebo, p = 0.0001; 1.6 MIU versus placebo, p = 0.0101; and 8 MIU versus 1.6 MIU, p = 0.0086), suggesting a dosage effect. The reduction in exacerbation severity in the 8 MIU group was attributable to a twofold reduction in the frequency of moderate and severe attacks. More patients in the 8 MIU group (n = 36) were exacerbation-free at 2 years compared with the placebo group (n = 18; p = 0.007). EDSS scores changed little from baseline in both the placebo and treatment arms. Accordingly, a significant change in disability could not be discerned in this trial. Finally, in serial MRIs, MS activity was significantly less in the high-dose IFNB group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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          8469318

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