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More MS news articles for January 2003

Concurrent administration of interferon alfa-2b and Beta-1a

Ann Pharmacother 2003 Jan;37(1):77-9
Tanvetyanon T, Stadtmauer EA, Kerson LA.
Tawee Tanvetyanon MD, at time of writing, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA; now, Fellow in Hematology/Oncology, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL.


To describe the concurrent use of interferon (IFN) alfa and beta in a patient with multiple sclerosis (MS) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).


A 60-year-old white man developed CML while receiving IFN beta-1a treatment for MS. The patient was started on IFN alfa-2b 1 million units 3 times weekly with IFN beta-1a 30 micro g weekly. The dosage of IFN alfa was increased to 3 million units/d 1 month later. He achieved complete hematologic remission in 3 months. The observed adverse effects were mild and included fatigue, somnolence, weight loss, and difficulty with memory. At 19 months after treatment, the patient remained in hematologic remission and his expanded disability status scale score remained unchanged.


Concomitant treatment with interferon alfa and beta by a gradual increase in the dosage of IFN alfa was well tolerated. Although imatinib mesylate may be a preferred treatment for patients with CML and MS at this time, our experience with safe concurrent use of IFN alfa and beta may benefit other patients who require this combined treatment.


Concurrent administration of interferon alfa-2b and beta-1a was well tolerated by our patient with CML and MS.