disability

Popular MS drugs don't prevent disability, research finds

Friday, July 27, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: MS drugs, research, disability

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) How does a drug manage to become so popular with the medical community, yet turn out to be ineffective at achieving the treatment objectives it was prescribed to achieve? How do such drugs get past clinical trials if they don't do what they're supposed to do?

Those are good questions to keep in mind as you consider recent reports regarding interferon beta, the most widely prescribed medicine for treating multiple sclerosis (MS). A new study has found this most common and popular of MS drugs has little or no effect on halting a patient's progression towards disability, The New York Times and other media reported.

The drug does seem to help reduce the development of brain lesions while limiting the frequency of relapses. But other than that, it appears to be pretty worthless; up to now, few other studies have examined the long-term, overall effect of interferon beta that would demonstrate how effective it is at preventing the beginning of the non-reversible disability.

MS, you may or may not know, is a chronic, often debilitating autoimmune disease that very often attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord, as well as the optic nerves.

"Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another," says a description of the disease on the Web site of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The primary reason for using the drug is now - what?

The current study examining the long-term preventative effects of interferon beta, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, was conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia. A team led by Afsaneh Shirani, M.D., utilized data collected from 868 MS patients who were being treated with interferon beta. They were compared with 1,788 patients who never took the medication.

Using what was described as a well-validated scale, the researchers said they found those who took the drug no less likely to suffer long-term disability than those who took none.

"A key feature of MS is clinical progression of the disease over time manifested by the accumulation of disability. Interferon beta drugs are the most widely prescribed disease-modifying drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of relapsing-onset MS, the most common MS disease course," said background information in the JAMA article.

So, essentially, the drug is worthless for the most important of uses for MS patients.

Wait - let's not throw it out just yet

The Times said interferon drugs are most often used to treat relapsing-remitting MS, which is the most common form of the disease. And while the course of progression the disease takes varies, it is usually a relapsing illness that produces many symptoms including muscle spasms, trouble walking, bladder and bowel problems, hearing and vision issues, speech difficulty and trouble with attention span and reasoning abilities.

"After adjustment for potential baseline confounders (sex, age, disease duration, and EDSS score), exposure to interferon beta was not associated with a statistically significant difference in the hazard of reaching an EDSS score of six when either the contemporary control cohort or the historical control cohort were considered," the research team said.

"In conclusion, we did not find evidence that administration of interferon beta was associated with a reduction in disability progression in patients with relapsing-remitting MS," the team wrote.

"The ultimate goal of treatment for MS is to prevent or delay long-term disability. Our findings bring into question the routine use of interferon beta drugs to achieve this goal in MS. It is; however, possible that a subgroup of patients benefit from interferon beta treatment and that this association would not be discernible in our comprehensive 'real-world' study," said the team.

Despite this dour assessment of the drug's primary use, the study's primary author, Helen Tremlett, an associate professor of neurology at the University of British Columbia, said interferon beta isn't completely useless.

"These drugs were licensed because they reduce relapse and have a better outcome with lesions," she told the Times. "That has not changed."

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com

http://www.fiercepharma.com

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/index.aspx

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.