Beta interferon is one of the important drugs for multiple sclerosis. Its common side effects are flu-like symptoms caused by drug injection. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possibility of predicting the response rate of this drug based on the flu-like drug reaction.
This case-control study performed in Loghman Hakim hospital in Tehran in 2017 and 110 patients with multiple sclerosis under beta interferon treatment studied. Patients were divided into two groups with and without flu-like drug reaction. A neurology resident according to the patient’s history and patient records filled in the questionnaires. The results of the two groups were compared by SPSS 16 software.
A total of 110 patients including 31 patients with flu-like drug reaction and 79 non-complicated patients were evaluated. These patients included 32 males and 78 females with an average age of 35.55 years. The mean duration of beta interferon use was 4.33 years in the case group and 4.34 years in the control group. Finally, a significant correlation between the flu-like drug reaction and the optimal response in the first year treatment was found (p=0.026). In addition, cause of drug discontinuation had significant correlation with presence of flu like drug reaction (p=0.028). There was no significant correlation between the disease annual attacks rate and flu like drug reaction.
Flu-like drug reaction is a common complication of interferon beta drugs, which has a therapeutic difference in patients with and without this drug reaction.