Table of Contents
ISRN Neurology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 451457, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/451457
Clinical Study

Switching and Escalating Therapy in Long-Lasting Multiple Sclerosis: Not Always Necessary

1MS Clinic, Department of Neurology, Centro Hospitalar de São João, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal
2Department of Neurology, Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova Gaia/Espinho, 4434-502 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
3Faculty of Health Sciences, University Fernando Pessoa, 4249-004 Porto, Portugal

Received 29 October 2012; Accepted 3 December 2012

Academic Editors: K. Dorovini-Zis, E. A. Joosten, T. Müller, Y. Ohyagi, Y. Sunada, and S. Weis

Copyright © 2012 Ana Teresa Carvalho and Maria José Sá. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Although therapy switch is common among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), sometimes the initial prescribed treatment is maintained for a long period with clinical stability, low disability, and nonsignificant side effects. We aim to describe demographic and clinical characteristics of patients treated in our MS clinic with the same disease-modifying drug (DMD) lasting for >12 years. From the cohort of 51 patients followed in our MS clinic with relapse-remitting MS who started an DMD between 1996 and 1999, we found a high percentage (51%) of patients who were efficiently treated with the first DMD. These patients were mainly females, with low annualized relapse rate and Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score (MSSS). Our results may be related to the open and multidisciplinary model of our MS clinic organization. Identifying characteristics associated with therapy persistence may be useful in developing strategies to improve therapy effectiveness.