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Oral available agents in the treatment of RRMS

Authors Aupérin T

Received 12 September 2013

Accepted for publication 13 September 2013

Published 29 October 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 199—201


Thierry Aupérin

Medical Communications, Global MS Medical Affairs, Genzyme Corporation, Cambridge, MA, USA

We read with interest the article by Drs Thöne and Ellrichmann entitled "Oral available agents in the treatment of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis: an overview of merits and culprits" recently published in Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety.1 The review provides a valuable overview of a number of new therapeutic options for multiple sclerosis (MS), with a focus on proposed mechanisms of action and efficacy and safety profiles of the respective agents.
In reading the article, however, we did note a number of errors pertaining to teriflunomide, a once-daily oral immunomodulator approved in several countries for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS (RMS) and relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). The most significant error pertains to a statement made within the safety section, which states: "Serious adverse effects (AEs) included pathological liver function, neutropenia, and trigeminal neuralgia as well as one case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus." We would like to draw the authors’ attention to the fact that this case of PML pertains to the use of the related drug, leflunomide, and not teriflunomide as suggested. It is important to note that leflunomide is licensed to treat active rheumatoid arthritis in adults, and has not been evaluated or approved for the treatment of MS; as such it is inappropriate to extrapolate this observation to the use of teriflunomide. Furthermore, the case of PML cited in the article is complicated by the fact that the patient received prior multiple immunosuppressant therapies before leflunomide (ie, prednisone, azathioprine, chloroquine, danazol, cyclosporin A and methotrexate), which may have contributed to the development of PML.

View original paper by Thöne and Ellrichmann.

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