MS patients who start treatment at a younger age, and whose condition requires hospitalization, are more likely to stop treatment, a Canadian study reports.
The research, published in the journal Dovepress, dealt with the main reasons Canadian patients quit first-line injected disease-modifying therapies, or DMTs. It was titled “Persistence to disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis in a Canadian cohort.”
DMTs can reduce MS activity, but patients must stick with them in order for them to be effective.
“There is currently a paucity of clinical trial data on what happens to individuals when they discontinue DMT,” the researchers wrote. “However, recent preliminary evidence from observational studies suggest increased relapses and disability in those who discontinue DMT.”
Researchers sought to identify MS patients at higher risk of discontinuing treatment. They looked at Manitoba Province’s medical database to identify the types of drugs MS patients were taking, and for how long.
The analysis covered 721 patients who received injected beta-interferons or Copaxone between 1996 and 2011, and whom doctors followed for at least a year. Teva manufactures Copaxone, whose generic name is glatiramer acetate.
The mean age of the patients in the study was 37.6 years, and 74.2 percent were women.
Researchers defined a discontinuation of a DMT as a 90-day or longer gap in treatment.
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