High-dose estrogen supplements added to standard interferon-beta therapy in multiple sclerosis could increase treatment responses in at least some women, a researcher said here.
Delivered in oral contraceptive pills, young female MS patients with relapsing-remitting disease who took ethinyl estradiol at 40 mcg/day plus desogestrel at 125 mcg/day in addition to regular interferon injections for a planned 96 weeks showed significantly fewer brain MRI lesions than patients receiving only the interferon, reported Carlo Pozzilli, MD, of Sapienza University in Rome.
However, the high-dose estrogen and interferon combination did not appear to reduce relapse rates beyond those seen with interferon alone, he told attendees during a late-breaking abstract session at the annual meeting of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.
Also, discontinuations among patients taking the hormone pills were common, "indicat[ing] that the oral contraceptives are poorly tolerated," he said.
But Pozzilli added that additional studies of hormonal treatments for MS were still warranted. For example, he suggested that it would be worthwhile to examine whether baseline hormone levels are associated with clinical responses, in which case patients unlikely to benefit could be spared the add-on treatment.... Read More - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... ageid/3524