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Oral Steroids Are On Par With IV Steroids in MS Relapses

November 5, 2015

Is there any difference between oral and intravenous methylprednisolone for multiple sclerosis relapses? A study recently done by researchers at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans set out to see the answer to that question.

This study took place across 13 Multiple Sclerosis Centers in France. Patients were selected if they had had a relapse within the previous 15 days; the mean time was seven days. One hundred patients were in the oral steroid group, and 99 were in the intravenous steroid group. Each group received 1 g of methylprednisolone daily for three days. In addition, each group received saline infusions or placebo capsules to keep the study blind.

After 28 days, 81% of the oral group and 80% of the intravenous group had improvements of their symptoms. Side effects from the medications were similar as well. However, the study could be considered limited by the fixed number of dosing which wasn’t bioequivalent. Also, MRIs are not always used in relapses but could have been used to provide more objective information.

The study revealed that patients with relapsing MS should consider using oral steroids instead of intravenous.