Approved and future pharmacotherapy for multiple sclerosis

Olaf Stüve, Bruce C. Cree, Hans Christian Von Büdingen, Sawsan Yousef, James D. Bowen, Claude P. Genain, Stephen L. Hauser, Lawrence Steinman, Scott S. Zamvil

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND- Pharmacotherapy for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) advanced with the demonstration that interferon β and glatiramer acetate improve the clinical course of this disease. Mitoxantrone is the first drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of secondary progressive MS. Despite this progress, the agents presently available are only partially effective, are difficult to administer, and may have significant side effects. Several orally administered immunomodulatory agents are presently being evaluated for treatment of MS. One class of drugs, HMG CoA inhibitors (statins), is safe and well-tolerated and could become another mainstay of MS therapy. REVIEW SUMMARY- This article reviews the clinical evidence for approved MS therapies and discusses their mechanisms of action. Furthermore, the clinical and laboratory data suggesting a potential role for statins in MS therapy are discussed. CONCLUSIONS- Although treatment with interferon β, glatiramer acetate, and mitoxantrone, the approved therapies, provide important treatment options for patients with relapsing-remitting MS and secondary progressive MS, the potential benefits of other medications, including statins, should be explored in controlled clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-301
Number of pages12
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Glatiramer acetate
  • HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
  • Interferon β
  • Mitoxantrone
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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