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Mult Scler. 2019 Jun 7:1352458519851981. doi: 10.1177/1352458519851981. [Epub ahead of print]

Characterizing lymphocyte counts and infection rates with long-term teriflunomide treatment: Pooled analysis of clinical trials.

Author information

1
Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.
2
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
3
Sanofi, Chilly-Mazarin, France.
4
Sanofi, Cambridge, MA, USA.
5
University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In Phase 3 studies, teriflunomide reduced relapse rates and disability progression compared with placebo; however, decreases in lymphocyte counts were also observed.

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the effect of long-term teriflunomide treatment on lymphocyte counts and infection rates among patients in pooled analyses of Phase 3 core and extension studies.

METHODS:

Four randomized trials (TEMSO, TOWER, TENERE, and TOPIC) compared teriflunomide 7 mg or 14 mg treatment with either placebo and/or subcutaneous interferon (IFN) β-1a 44 µg in patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) (or first clinical episode suggestive of MS in TOPIC).

RESULTS:

In 1895, patients ever exposed to teriflunomide, mean (standard deviation) absolute lymphocyte counts declined from Week 0 (1.89 (0.59)) to Week 24 (1.67 (0.52)) and then remained stable thereafter. In the core plus extension studies (up to 10.7 years), 7.3% and 2.2% experienced Grade 1 and Grade 2 lymphopenia, respectively. Infections were reported in 56.9% of patients without lymphopenia, 60.9% with Grade 1 lymphopenia, and 54.8% with Grade 2 lymphopenia. Serious infections occurred in 3.7%, 4.3%, and 7.1%, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

Long-term risk of lymphopenia and infections in patients who continue to receive teriflunomide is low, demonstrating a limited impact on adaptive and innate immunity.

KEYWORDS:

Teriflunomide; infection rates; lymphocyte counts; multiple sclerosis; pooled analysis

PMID:
31172849
DOI:
10.1177/1352458519851981

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