Author(s): Ziemssen T, Hoffman J, Apfel R, Kern S
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: Treatment of multiple sclerosis patients with glatiramer acetate has been demonstrated a beneficial effect on disease activity. The objective of this prospective naturalistic study was to evaluate the impact of glatiramer acetate on fatigue and work absenteeism. METHODS: 291 treatment-naïve patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis were included and treated with glatiramer acetate for twelve months. Relapse rates, disability, fatigue symptoms, days of absence from work and adverse events were monitored. Fatigue was measured with the MFIS scale and with a visual analogue scale. RESULTS: Total MFIS scores decreased by 7.6 +/- 16.4 from 34.6 to 27.0 (p < or = 0.001). Significant reductions were observed on all three subscales of the MFIS. Fatigue symptoms, assessed using a visual analogue scale, decreased by 1.04 +/- 2.88 cm from 4.47 cm to 3.43 cm (p < or = 0.001). The proportion of patients absent from work at least once was reduced by a factor of two from 65.1\% to 30.1\% (p < or = 0.001). Tolerance to treatment was rated as very good or good in 78.3\% of patients. Adverse effects, most frequently local injection site reactions, were reported in 15.1\% of patients. CONCLUSION: Treatment with glatiramer acetate was associated with a significant improvement in fatigue symptoms and a marked reduction in absence from work. Treatment was well-tolerated. Such benefits are of relevance to overall patient well-being.
This article was published in Health Qual Life Outcomes
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy