Plegridy (Peginterferon Beta-1a) for Multiple Sclerosis

Last updated May 17, 2022, by Teresa Carvalho, MS

Fact-checked by Ines Martins, PhD

FAQs about Plegridy

Plegridy was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August 2014 as a subcutaneous or under-the-skin injection to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). It is indicated in the U.S. for clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting MS, and active secondary progressive MS. A formulation for injection into the muscle was approved in 2021.

Yes. Based on data from several European registries, exposure to interferon beta-based medications before conception or during the first trimester did not increase the frequency of fetal issues. Where clinically needed, Plegridy may be considered for use during pregnancy, but patients who plan to become pregnant should discuss this possibility with their healthcare providers.

Interactions between Plegridy and alcohol have not been reported to date. However, alcohol can interfere with some medications and exacerbate side effects, such as liver injury. Patients are advised to discuss with their healthcare team how much alcohol is safe for them to drink.

For certain patients, results from Plegridy may be seen within the first 12 months. In the trial that supported Plegridy’s approval, which compared the medication against a placebo in more than 1,500 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, benefits were observed within one year of treatment. Those positive results included a reduction in the number of relapses and in the development of new brain lesions, as well as a delay in disability progression. Still, it is difficult to predict when and how someone will respond to a medication. Patients should talk with their healthcare providers to better understand how Plegridy can help with their unique situation.

Hair loss (alopecia) was a common side effect experienced by patients on Plegridy in clinical trials. Although more rarely, weight gain also may occur as a result of kidney damage caused by the medication. Patients should inform their healthcare provider if any unexpected symptoms develop.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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