Multiple sclerosis treatment: Is combination therapy effective?

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Multiple sclerosis treatment: Is combination therapy effective?

Question

What can you tell me about combination therapy as a multiple sclerosis treatment option? Is it effective?

Ana Maria
Mexico

Answer

Combination therapy most often refers to the use of two or more medications to treat a single disease. Scientists are studying the potential benefits of combination drug therapy in multiple sclerosis treatment.

Interferon beta-1a (Avonex, Rebif) and glatiramer (Copaxone) are two drugs currently used to treat relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Each drug works in a different way, and both are generally considered mildly to moderately effective in reducing MS symptoms.

To determine whether these two drugs used in combination may provide a greater benefit than either drug used alone, a randomized, double-blind, multicenter study is under way. The study — which addresses the safety as well as the effectiveness of the drug combination — began in 2005. Results are expected in 2012.

Until study results are released, it's unclear what role — if any — combination drug therapy may play in routine multiple sclerosis treatment.

Last Updated: 2008-10-30
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