The aim of this study was to evaluate postmarketing fingolimod safety and effectiveness in a real-world clinical population.
This was a retrospective, single-center study with active multiple sclerosis patients treated with fingolimod with at least 12 months of follow-up. Demographic and clinical and imaging characteristics, including annualized relapse rate (ARR), Expanded Disability Status Score, previous treatment, adverse events, treatment duration, and reason for discontinuation, were analyzed.
Sixty-three patients were included; 61.9% were females. Mean age and mean disease duration were 30.9 ± 9.3 years and 11.4 ± 6.9 years, respectively. Fifty-one patients received prior first-line disease-modifying therapies, 11 patients were previously treated with natalizumab, and 1 was treatment naive. The ARR decreased by 75.3% for the total population at the end of the first year of treatment (P < 0.0001). The proportion of relapse-free patients improved significantly. All patients previously treated with natalizumab switched because of safety concerns, although the ARR kept low after treatment initiation. Only 3 patients (4.8%) discontinued treatment because of adverse drug reactions, and 2 (3.2%) because of lack of effectiveness.
In this real-world audit, fingolimod appeared to be effective after first-line treatment failure in reducing disease activity and progression of disability throughout the observational period and may be an effective option after natalizumab. Fingolimod was well tolerated with low rates of discontinuation and adverse events.