Azathioprine trial results from Iran

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Azathioprine trial results from Iran

Postby dignan » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:46 am

A drug that's been discussed a bit lately here. Azathioprine has been used off-label for MS since the 60s or 70s. Maybe it's not a bad option as it is a pill. Balance that off with more serious side-effects because it's an immunosuppressant.

Comparison of interferon beta products and azathioprine in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

J Neurol. 2007 Dec 14 [Epub ahead of print]
Etemadifar M, Janghorbani M, Shaygannejad V.
Dept. of Neurology and Epidemiology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Iran.

We compared the relative efficacy of interferon beta (IFNbeta) products and azathioprine (AZA) in the treatment of relapsing- remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Ninety-four previously untreated patients of short duration with RRMS were randomly allocated to the two treatment groups. The first group received IFNbeta products (Betaferon,Avonex or Rebif); the second group received AZA for 12 months. Response to treatment was assessed at 3, 6, and 12 months after starting therapy.

The mean number of relapse during one year of the study was lower in the AZA group than in the IFNbeta products group (0.28 vs. 0.64, P < 0.05). After 12 months, 57.4% of patients receiving IFNbeta products remained relapse free compared with 76.6% of those given AZA. The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) decreased by 0.30 units in IFNbeta-treated patients (P < 0.05) and 0.46 in AZAtreated patients (P < 0.001). Treatment with IFNbeta products and AZA significantly reduces the relapse rate and EDSS score in patients with RRMS, while AZA is more effective than the IFNbeta formulations.

Pubmed link
Last edited by dignan on Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Azathioprine (Imuran)

Postby lyndacarol » Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:27 pm

Every mention of azathioprine (Imuran) makes me nervous because of reading of suspicion that it causes cancer (Three mentions were in The Autoimmune Connection) and because a dear friend with another autoimmune disease (myasthenia gravis, also known as MG) died of cancer in the liver and colon after taking Imuran about one year.

I urge anyone who considers taking it to be very informed, cautious, and alert to possible problems.
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