Sep. 17, 2002
Interferon beta-1a does not cause depression, according to results of a recent study.
The study used data from a clinical trial of interferon beta-1a in patients with secondary progressive MS. The Secondary Progressive Efficacy Trial of Interferon beta-1a in MS, or SPECTRIMS, compared the effectiveness of interferon beta-1a with placebo. Study participants took the medication three times per week during the three-year trial.
In the present study, researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, compared scores on three measures of psychological symptoms in 365 subjects from the SPECTRIMS trial. Ratings were obtained on each measure at the beginning of the study, at six months, one year, eighteen months, two years, 30 months and three years.
Investigators found no significant differences between the scores in the two treatment groups at any time. They stated that the findings helped to confirm, from a psychiatric perspective, the safety and tolerability of interferon beta-1a for the treatment of MS.
However, the researchers warned that the results should be interpreted with caution, as rare side effects are still possible.
Study results appear in the Sept. 10 issue of Neurology.
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