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Natalizumab drug holiday in multiple sclerosis: poorly tolerated.

Author(s): Killestein J, Vennegoor A, Strijbis EM, Seewann A, van Oosten BW, Uitdehaag BM, Polman CH

Affiliation(s): Department of Neurology, MS Center Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. j.killestein@vumc.nl

Publication date & source: 2010-09, Ann Neurol., 68(3):392-5.

It has been suggested that natalizumab-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy may be prevented by structured interruptions of treatment. Evidence supporting such a drug holiday is not yet available. Here we present initial observations in 10 multiple sclerosis patients who were stringently monitored up to 6 months after discontinuation of the infusions. Cumulatively, a combination of clinical relapse and new and/or enhanced lesions on magnetic resonance imaging had occurred in 7 of 10 patients. Although numbers are small, our data suggest that in patients who were switched to natalizumab because of disease activity despite first-line treatment, a natalizumab drug holiday without reinstatement of alternate disease-modifying therapy is poorly tolerated.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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