Review of interferon beta-1b in the treatment of early and relapsing multiple sclerosis
Damiano Paolicelli, Vita Direnzo, Maria Trojano
Department of Neurological and Psychiatric Sciences, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common autoimmune illness of the central nervous system. For many years the inflammatory manifestations of MS were treated using only corticosteroids. Since the 1990s the results of several clinical trials with immunomodulatory agents have changed the therapeutic approach to this disease. Interferon beta (IFNβ)-1b represents the pioneer of those therapies. There is growing evidence from clinical trials on relapsing-remitting MS and clinically isolated syndromes suggestive of MS that IFNβ-1b reduces the frequency and severity of relapses and the development of new and active brain lesions as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging. Long-term data suggest a persistent efficacy of IFNβ-1b on disease activity and a positive effect in slowing disability worsening. Furthermore a reduction of relapse rate and a slight positive effect on the progression were demonstrated when IFNβ-1b was administered to still-active secondary progressive MS. IFNβ-1b therapy is well tolerated and relatively free of long-term side effects. In spite of the emergence of new agents for the treatment of MS, IFNβ-1b still remains a first-line therapy with a fundamental role in all stages of the disease.
Keywords: interferon beta-1b, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, clinically isolated syndromes, efficacy, safety, neutralizing antibodies
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