Should make those of you on Betaseron happy, I happen to be on Rebif
Either way I bet an oral medication will hurt even less
Betaferon Causes Less Injection Site Pain and Injection Site Reactions Than Rebif in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis: Presented at ECTRIMS
By Bruce Sylvester
MADRID, SPAIN -- October 4, 2006 -- Interferon beta-1b (Betaferon or Betaseron) 250 mcg treatment causes less injection site pain and fewer injection site reactions than interferon beta-1a (Rebif) 44 mcg, report researchers from the (Betaferon versus Rebif InvestigatinG Higher Tolerability (BRIGHT study). for multiple sclerosis
"This was the first large-scale comparison of these 2 agents for these 2 endpoints," said lead investigator Karl Baum, MD, university lecturer, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany. "We saw highly significant differences for pain and skin reactions between these 2 agents."
The investigators reported their findings here on September 29th at the 22nd Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS).
The study was a multicentre, international, nonrandomised, prospective and observational trial of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Eligible subjects had begun treatment within 3 months prior to recruitment and had completed titration. Autoinjector use was recommended by the investigators.
The subjects self-injected the agents and self-assessed injection site pain for 15 consecutive injections of the same agent. After each injection, patients completed entries in a 0-100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS) diary immediately after, at 30 minutes and at 60 minutes.
Study nurses checked for reported injection site reactions, and they were then confirmed by physicians.
The researchers questioned each subject about treatment satisfaction relative to pain at the injection site.
Investigators analysed evaluable data on 303 patients on Betaferon and 142 on Rebif. Baseline characteristics of both groups of subjects were comparable.
Significantly more patients were free from pain in the Betaferon arm compared with the Rebif arm at 30 minutes (42.6% vs 19.7%; P < .0001).
The mean proportion of pain-free injections at 30 minutes was greater with Betaferon than with Rebif (79.0% vs 53.3%; P < .0001).
The results were not affected by the needle size used. Autoinjectors were used by more than 92% of patients.
The Betaferon cohort had significantly more pain -free patients at 30 minutes (40.2% vs 16.2%, P < .0001).
The proportion of patients without injection site reactions was greater among with Betaferon subjects than Rebif subjects (51.8% vs 33.8% at the second visit; P < .0001).
Also, VAS scores taken immediately after the injection and after 30 minutes were lower for Betaferon than Rebif (0.9 vs 2.1 and 0.2 vs 0.8; P < .0001).
More Betaferon patients reported either no pain or satisfaction with their treatment compared with Rebif (76.9% vs 64.1%, P = .006).
"The results of the BRIGHT study demonstrate that Betaferon causes less injection site pain and injection site reactions compared with Rebif. Patient satisfaction with Betaferon therapy was also greater than with Rebif," the authors concluded in their poster presentation.
The study was supported by Schering AG of Germany.
[Presentation title: Evaluation of Injection Site Pain and Reactions During Interferon-Beta Treatment: Results From the BRIGHT (Betaferon versus Rebif InvestigatinG Higher Tolerability) Study. Abstract P693]