Multiple Sclerosis, 1 October 2003, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 451-457(7)
Trojano M.; Liguori M.; Paolicelli D.; Zimatore G.B.; De Robertis F.; Avolio C.; Giuliani F.; Fuiani A.; Livrea P.
 Department of Neurological and Psychiatric Sciences, University of Bari, Bari, Italy  Department of Neurology, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy  For The Southern Italy MS Group; Department of Neurological and Psychiatric Sciences, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
This independent, population–based surveillance study monitored the efficacy and safety of interferon beta (IFNß) products in 1033 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) from 15 centres in Italy.
Relapses, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores, and adverse events were evaluated for up to 24 months.
Data of patients with a baseline EDSS score 3.5 are reported.
The proportions of relapse-free patients were similar among the groups at 12 and 24 months (P=0.10).
IFNß products produced significant reductions from baseline in relapse rates at 12 and 24 months (P<0.001), with no differences among treatments (P=0.2).
There were no significant differences in mean EDSS change among groups at 12 or 24 months.
The IFNß-1b group showed a higher incidence of adverse events during the first year of treatment (P<0.05) than IFNß-1a groups, and more withdrawals (10%) compared with Avonex (5%) at 24 months.
IFNß products are equally effective in low disability RRMS, but IFNß-1a may have a more favorable efficacy/tolerability ratio.