Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune demyelinating disorder affecting optic nerves, brain and spinal cord.

Treatment includes disease modifying treatments (DMTs) to reduce the number of relapses. In a recent study, ofatumumab was compared with teriflunomide in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

Ofatumumab is an anti CD-20 monoclonal antibody. It is given as subcutaneous injections. 3 loading doses of 20 mg are given on days 1, 7 and 14. Maintenance dose is 20 mg every four weeks.

Teriflunomide, an oral inhibitor of pyrimidine synthesis, reduces B-cell and T-cell activation. It is given as 14 mg daily orally. The two drugs were compared in recently concluded study.

More than 900 patients were assigned to each drug and the median follow up was 1.6 years. The annualized relapse rate was significantly lower in the group receiving ofatumumab. The percentage with disability worsening at 3 and 6 months was also lower in ofatumumab group.

Ofatumumab was safe and well tolerated. No serious adverse effects were noted.

This study was published in NEJM (August 6, 2020)

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM

Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad.

Published by Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine) DM (Neurology)

I am a doctor with 25 years experience. I have worked as a neurologist for about 20 years. Educating public and healthcare professionals is very dear to me. This is possible due to my interactions with thousands of patients and their caregivers. I salute the patients who suffer and it is our duty to minimise suffering by preventing diseases and ensuring prompt diagnosis and treatment of those already affected.

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