Minocycline May Benefit in Early Multiple Sclerosis

Treatment with minocycline reduces conversion to MS over six months after first demyelinating event
Treatment with minocycline reduces conversion to MS over six months after first demyelinating event

(HealthDay News) — For patients with a first demyelinating event (clinically isolated syndrome), treatment with minocycline is associated with reduced risk of conversion to multiple sclerosis over six months, according to a study published in the June 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Luanne M. Metz, M.D., from the Cumming School of Medicine and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute in Calgary, Canada, and colleagues randomized 142 participants who had had their first demyelinating symptoms within the previous 180 days to receive 100mg minocycline (72 participants) or placebo (70 participants) until a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis was established or until 24 months after randomization.

The researchers found that the unadjusted risk of conversion to multiple sclerosis within six months after randomization was 61.0 and 33.4 percent in the placebo and minocycline groups, respectively (difference, 27.6 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, 11.4 to 43.9; P = 0.001). The difference in the risk of conversion to multiple sclerosis within six months after randomization was 18.5 percentage points, after adjustment for the number of enhancing lesions at baseline (95 percent confidence interval, 3.7 to 33.3; P = 0.01). At the 24-month secondary outcome time point, the unadjusted risk difference was not significant (P = 0.06).

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"The risk of conversion from a clinically isolated syndrome to multiple sclerosis was significantly lower with minocycline than with placebo over six months but not over 24 months," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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