Oral prednisone taper following intravenous steroids fails to improve disability or recovery from relapses in multiple sclerosis

J. S. Perumal, C. Caon, S. Hreha, R. Zabad, A. Tselis, R. Lisak, O. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: A short course of intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP) followed by oral prednisone taper (OPT) is often used for the treatment of relapses in multiple sclerosis (MS). We examined the effect of IVMP plus OPT compared with IVMP only on neurologic disability 1 year after treatment of a relapse in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Methods: Two hundred eighty-five consecutive relapses were analyzed in a retrospective fashion. One hundred fifty-two patients with a total of 171 relapses received IVMP plus an OPT at the time of relapse whilst 112 patients who experienced 114 relapses received IVMP without OPT. Results: There was no difference between the two groups in the baseline characteristics as well as the mean or categorical EDSS at baseline, at the time of relapse confirmation, and at months 3, 6 and 12 after relapse confirmation. Conclusion: Our observations suggest that OPT following treatment with IVMP for an MS relapse does not lead to improved neurologic outcome after 12 months compared with treatment with IVMP only. Moreover, our findings raise concerns regarding the common practice of using OPT following IVMP. Further studies are indicated to validate our findings and minimize exposure to systemic corticosteroids, well known for systemic toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-680
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Volume15
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008

Keywords

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Oral steroids
  • Relapses
  • Steroids
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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