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More MS news articles for December 2003

Experience in the treatment of multiple sclerosis with interferon beta in Galicia

Rev Neurol. 2003 Dec 1-15;37(11):1001-4
Romero Lopez J, Seijo Martinez M, Del Campo V, Amigo Jorrin MC, Arias M, Cortes Laino JA, Dapena Bolano D, Lopez Gonzalez FJ, Lorenzo Gonzalez JR, Marin Sanchez M, Munoz Garcia D, Ozaita Arteche G, Prieto JM.
Hospital do Meixoeiro, Vigo, Espana.


To analyze the experience in daily clinical practice of interferon beta (IFN-b) treatment in relapsing-remitting (RR) and secondary progressive (SP) multiple sclerosis (MS) in Galicia (Spain).


Patients with RR-MS and SP-MS treated with IFN-b 1a and 1b between 1995 and December/2000, analyzing demographic and clinical data.


313 patients were included, with a mean age of 38,2 years.

A total of 296 patients (94,6%) were clinically defined MS and 17 (5,4%) were laboratory supported (Poser criteria); 84,6% of the patients were RR and 15,4% were SP.

The mean duration of the disease prior to treatment was 7,06 years.

Betaferon a was used in 52,4% patients (115 RR-MS and 47 SP-MS), Avonex a in 26% and Rebif a in 21,6%.

Relapse rate was reduced in 68,8% for the RR-MS for Betaferon-treated patients, 73,3% for Avonex treated and 35,7% for Rebif-treated patients.

Betaferon reduced relapse rate in 50% for SP-MS.

The global EDSS remained stable during IFN-b treatment.

During treatment, 33% of Betaferon, 60,5% of Avonex and 54,5% of Rebif-treated patients remained relapse-free.

Treatment was suspended in 12,9% of Betaferon, 6,2% of Avonex, and 3% Rebif-treated patients.

The most frequent causes of treatment suspension were increase in disability and in relapse count.


The present study supports the benefits of IFN-b treatment in RR MS and SP MS in daily clinical practice, with reduction in relapses count and discapacity, good over-all tolerance and low incidence of serious adverse side-effects.