Int J Clin Pract Suppl 2002 Sep;(131):9-16
Department of Clinical Neurology, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK.
Therapy with interferon (IFN) beta can significantly alter the disease course in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
Evidence indicates that the efficacy of this agent is related to treatment regimen (dose, route and dose frequency).
A higher total weekly dose administered several times a week provides greater clinical benefit than a lower dose given once weekly (q.w.).
This dose- and dose frequency-dependency of the efficacy of IFN beta has been clearly demonstrated in three recent head-to-head studies, as well as in other major clinical trials, and pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic and pre-clinical studies.
The use of a q.w. dose regimen of IFN beta is likely to have a negative impact on patients in both the short and long-term because it allows additional accumulation of irreversible tissue damage in the central nervous system.
Patients should receive the optimal, more rapid benefits from higher and more frequent doses of IFN beta, administered as early as possible after diagnosis.