Half-dose fingolimod for treating relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: Observational study

Chiara Zecca, Arianna Merlini, G Disanto, M Rodegher, L Panicari, MA Romeo, U Candrian, MJ Messina, E Pravatà, L Moiola, C Stefanin, A Ghezzi, Patrizia Perrone, Francesco Patti, G Comi, Claudio Gobbi, V Martinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the efficacy and safety of fingolimod (FTY) 0.5 mg administered every other day (FTY-EOD) compared to every day (FTY-ED) in multiple sclerosis patients. METHODS: Multicentre retrospective observational study. Clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging data were consecutively collected from 60 FTY-EOD and 63 FTY-ED patients. Baseline characteristics were compared using logistic regression. Efficacy in preventing occurrence of relapses and demyelinating lesions was tested using propensity score-adjusted Cox and linear regressions. RESULTS: Weight was inversely associated with risk of switch to FTY-EOD because of any reason (odds ratio (OR) = 0.94, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.89-0.99, p = 0.026), and female sex and lower baseline lymphocyte count were positively associated with switch because of lymphopenia. Compared to FTY-ED patients, FTY-EOD patients were at higher risk of developing relapses (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.98, 95% CI = 1.07-8.27, p  = 0.036) and either relapses or new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demyelinating lesions (combined outcome, HR = 2.07, 95% CI = 1.06-4.08, p  = 0.034). Within FTY-EOD, treatment with natalizumab before FTY and lower age were positively associated with risk of developing relapses and combined outcome, respectively (HR = 25.71, 95% CI = 3.03-217.57, p = 0.002 and HR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.77-0.96, p  = 0.005). FTY-EOD was overall well tolerated. CONCLUSION: Disease reactivation was observed in a significant proportion of patients treated with FTY-EOD. Neurologists should be cautious when reducing FTY administration to every other day, especially in younger patients and those previously treated with natalizumab.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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