J Neurol. 2003 Dec; 250 Suppl 4: IV3-IV8
Bayas A, Gold R.
Department of Neurology, University of Wurzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str. 11, 97080, Wurzburg, Germany.
In 1993, interferon beta-1b (IFNbeta-1b, Betaferon((R))/Betaseron((R))) was the first interferon approved in the USA for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
Since then, dose-dependent effects of IFNbeta in MS have been extensively discussed.
Such effects had already been observed in the pivotal trial and were followed by dose comparison trials with IFNbeta-1a.
Later, the therapeutic efficacy of IFNbeta-1b could also be demonstrated in secondary progressive (SP) MS patients.
We learnt from further studies that benefit from IFNbeta in SPMS seems to be most pronounced in those patients still having active disease with superimposed relapses or clear progression.
The most common IFNbeta-related adverse events, especially in the early treatment phase, have been flu-like symptoms and injection-site reactions.
The consequent management of those as well as of other, less frequent, side-effects turned out to be of tremendous importance to ensure patients' compliance.
Based on the experience of 10 years, IFNbeta-1b belongs to the firstline therapeutics in RR and SPMS.