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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 1996 Jul-Aug;14(4):367-71.

Interferon alpha-2 (IFN alpha 2) increases lacrimal and salivary function in Sjögren's syndrome patients. Preliminary results of an open pilot trial versus OH-chloroquine.

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  • 1Rheumatic Disease Unit (RDU), School of Medicine of Udine, Italy.



The effect of recombinant interferon alpha-2 (IFN alpha 2) therapy in Sjögren's syndrome (SS) was studied.


An open study was performed in which 20 SS patients were given IFN alpha 2 3.10(6) MU/3 times/week or OH-chloroquine (OH-C) 6 mg/kg/daily, for a mean period of 11 months.


Gland assessment showed that lacrimal and salivary function improved by 67% and 61% versus 15% and 18% respectively (p < 0.01) in the patients treated with IFN alpha 2 compared to those treated with OH-C. Immunological parameters did not change over time in either group. In 3 patients a decrease in the tissue score was observed in the IFN alpha 2 group, while no changes were seen in the control group. Tolerability was acceptable.


This study shows that IFN can improve tear function and dry mouth in SS, without causing significant side effects.

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