Effect of statins on clinical and molecular responses to intramuscular interferon beta-1a

R. A. Rudick, A. Pace, M. R.S. Rani, R. Hyde, M. Panzara, S. Appachi, J. Shrock, S. L. Maurer, P. A. Calabresi, C. Confavreux, S. L. Galetta, F. D. Lublin, E. W. Radue, R. M. Ransohoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND:: Findings from a small clinical study suggested that statins may counteract the therapeutic effects of interferon beta (IFNβ) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). METHODS:: We conducted a post hoc analysis of data from the Safety and Efficacy of Natalizumab in Combination With IFNβ-1a in Patients With Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (SENTINEL) study to determine the effects of statins on efficacy of IFNβ. SENTINEL was a prospective trial of patients with RRMS treated with natalizumab (Tysabri®, Biogen Idec, Inc., Cambridge, MA) plus IM IFNβ-1a (Avonex®, Biogen Idec, Inc.) 30 μg compared with placebo plus IM IFNβ-1a 30 μg. Clinical and MRI outcomes in patients treated with IM IFNβ-1a only (no-statins group, n ≤ 542) were compared with those of patients taking IM IFNβ-1a and statins at doses used to treat hyperlipidemia (statins group, n ≤ 40). RESULTS:: No significant differences were observed between treatment groups in adjusted annualized relapse rate (p ≤ 0.937), disability progression (p ≤ 0.438), number of gadolinium-enhancing lesions (p ≤ 0.604), or number of new or enlarging T2-hyperintense lesions (p ≤ 0.802) at 2 years. More patients in the statins group reported fatigue, extremity pain, muscle aches, and increases in hepatic transaminases compared with patients in the no-statins group. Statin treatment had no ex vivo or in vitro effect on induction of IFN-stimulated genes. CONCLUSIONS:: Statin therapy does not appear to affect clinical effects of IM interferon beta-1a in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis or the primary molecular response to interferon beta treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1989-1993
Number of pages5
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 9 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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