Objectives – To compare the relative efficacies of Betaferon, Avonex, and Rebif in the treatment of relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
Methods – Ninety patients with RRMS were randomly allocated to the three treatment groups. The first group received Betaferon, the second group received Avonex, and the third group received Rebif for 24 months. Response to treatment was assessed at 6, 12, and 24 months after start of therapy.
Results – Of the 30 patients treated with Betaferon, the mean (standard deviation, SD) of relapse rate decreased from 2.2 (0.7) to 0.7 (0.7) episodes. Correspondingly, in the 30 patients treated with Avonex, the mean (SD) of relapse rate decreased from 2.0 (1.2) to 1.2 (0.9) (P < 0.001). In the 30 patients treated with Rebif, the mean (SD) of relapse rate decreased from 2.4 (1.0) to 0.6 (0.9) (P < 0. 01). After 2 years, 43.3% of patients receiving Betaferon and 56.7% of patients receiving Rebif remained relapse-free compared with 20% of those given Avonex. Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) decreased by 0.7 U in Betaferon-treated patients (P < 0.001), 0.3 U in Rebif-treated patients (P < 0.05), and remained stable in Avonex patients.
Conclusion – Treatment with Betaferon, Avenox, and Rebif significantly reduce relapse rate and EDSS score in patients with RRMS.