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Add-On Albuterol Treatment Beneficial in Multiple Sclerosis

Last Updated: September 13, 2010.

Multiple sclerosis patients treated with glatiramer acetate and given an add-on treatment of albuterol have better clinical outcomes than those not receiving albuterol, according to a study in the September issue of the Archives of Neurology.

MONDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients treated with glatiramer acetate and given an add-on treatment of albuterol have better clinical outcomes than those not receiving albuterol, according to a study in the September issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Samia J. Khoury, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues randomized 44 patients with relapsing-remitting MS to receive either a glatiramer acetate injection (20 mg) plus an oral dose of albuterol, or the glatiramer acetate injection plus an oral placebo (control group) every day for two years. The primary clinical efficacy measurement was change in the MS Functional Composite at two years, and interleukin-13 (IL-13) and interferon-γ expression were evaluated.

The researchers found that patients receiving the add-on albuterol treatment showed improvement in the MS Functional Composite score at six and 12 months, but not at 24 months. The glatiramer acetate plus albuterol group also had a delay in the time to first relapse. There were just three moderate or severe adverse events considered treatment-related. IL-13 and interferon-γ production decreased in both treatment groups and, at 12 months, the researchers observed a treatment effect on IL-13 production.

"Treatment with glatiramer acetate plus albuterol is well tolerated and improves clinical outcomes in patients with MS," the authors write.

Study authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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