Management strategies for Flu-Like symptoms and injection-site reactions associated with Peginterferon beta-1a: Obtaining recommendations using the delphi technique

June Halper, Diego Centonze, Scott Newsome, De Ren Huang, Christopher Robertson, Xiaojun You, Guido Sabatella, Vladimir Evilevitch, Leslie Leahy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Flu-like symptoms (FLSs) and injection-site reactions (ISRs) have been reported with interferon beta treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS). We sought to obtain consensus on the characteristics/management of FLSs/ISRs in patients with relapsing-remitting MS based on experiences from the randomized, placebo-controlled ADVANCE study of peginterferon beta-1a. Methods: ADVANCE investigators with a predefined number of enrolled patients were eligible to participate in a consensus-generating exercise using a modified Delphi method. An independent steering committee oversaw the development of two sequential Delphi questionnaires. An average rating (AR) of 2.7 or more was defined as consensus a priori. Results: Thirty and 29 investigators (ie, responders) completed questionnaires 1 and 2, respectively, representing 374 patients from ADVANCE. Responders reported that the incidence/duration of FLSs/ISRs in their typical patient generally declined after 3 months of treatment. Responders reached consensus that FLSs typically last up to 24 hours (AR = 3.17) and have mild/moderate effects on activities of daily living (AR = 3.34). Patients should initiate acetaminophen/nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug treatment on a scheduled basis (AR = 3.31) and change the timing of injection (AR = 3.28) to manage FLSs. Injectionsite rotation/cooling and drug administration at room temperature (all AR ≥ 3.10) were recommended for managing ISRs. Patient education on FLSs/ISRs was advocated before treatment initiation. Conclusions: Delphi responders agreed on the management strategies for FLSs/ISRs and agreed that patient education is critical to set treatment expectations and promote adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of MS Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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