The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Peginterferon Beta-1a (Plegridy) for Multiple Sclerosis

The FDA has approved a pegylated form of interferon beta-1a (Plegridy – Biogen) for biweekly treatment of patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS).

STANDARD TREATMENT — FDA-approved drugs for treatment of relapsing-remitting MS are listed in Table 2. Interferon beta (Avonex, and others) and glatiramer acetate (Copaxone, Glatopa), both of which must be injected, are generally used first. They reduce clinical relapse rates by about 30% and decrease the number of brain lesions seen on MRI.1

Second-line drugs are usually reserved for patients with severe disease and for those who cannot take first-line drugs. Natalizumab (Tysabri), an IV recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody, can decrease relapse frequency and slow progression of the disease. Alemtuzumab, an IV anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody, is now approved ... more      

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