Adherence to the immunomodulatory drugs for multiple sclerosis: Contrasting factors affect stopping drug and missing doses

Faculty of Medicine (Neurology), University of British Columbia, Canada.
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety (Impact Factor: 2.94). 06/2008; 17(6):565-76. DOI: 10.1002/pds.1593
Source: PubMed


Long-term immunomodulatory drug (IMD) treatment is now common in multiple sclerosis (MS). However, predictors of adherence are not well understood; past studies lacked lifestyle factors such as alcohol use and predictors of missed doses have not been evaluated. We examined both levels of non-adherence-stopping IMD and missing doses.
This longitudinal prospective study followed a population-based cohort (n = 199) of definite MS patients in Southern Tasmania (January 2002 to April 2005, source population 226 559) every 6 months. Baseline factors (demographic, clinical, psychological and cognitive) affecting adherence were examined by logistic regression and a longitudinal analysis (generalized estimating equation (GEE)).
Of the 97 patients taking an IMD (mean follow-up = 2.4 years), 73% (71/97) missed doses, with 1 in 10 missing > 10 doses in any 6-month period. Missed doses were positively associated with alcohol amount consumed per session (p = 0.008). A history of missed doses predicted future missed doses (p < 0.0005). Over one-quarter (27/97) stopped their current IMD, which was associated with lower education levels (p = 0.032) and previous relapses (p = 0.05). No cognitive or psychological test predicted adherence.
There were few strong predictors of missed doses, although people with MS consuming more alcoholic drinks per session are at a higher risk of missing doses. Divergent factors influenced the two levels of non-adherence indicating the need for a multifaceted approach to improving IMD adherence. In addition, missed doses should be assessed and incorporated into clinical trial design and clinical practice as poor adherers could impact on clinical outcomes.

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    • "Our study was analysed in the first year of therapy and focused only on adherence to the therapy as proper use of the drug (i.e., taking the medication at the right time and dose, on the right day). Previous studies [7, 23] already focused on the acceptance of therapy, allowing a prediction on the possible adherence mainly in the initial phase of therapy. In subsequent periods, other factors such as the perception of the effectiveness of therapy may prevail [24] and assessments of adherence in the long term can be mainly analyzed retrospectively. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess the adherence to therapy in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS) and to analyze the possible influence of factors such as hospital care and patients socioeconomic status. Two hundred eighty-five patients with RR-MS according to Mc Donald's criteria and naïve disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) naïve were enrolled. Two self-administered questionnaires addressing the management of patients at therapy prescription and the personal perception of the daily life changes caused by DMDs were administered at months 3 and 12. Full adherence, considered as correct use of the therapy prescribed, was observed in a very high percentage of subjects (97.3% and 93.9% at 3 and 12 months). The main cause for reduced adherence was single dose forgetfulness, followed by anxiety, pain at the injection site, and tiredness of "doing all injections." Nurses and neurologists of MS Center were identified as the major resource in coping with the disease at 3 and 12 months by patients. The neurologist was the health professional involved in MS management in 95% of cases and the nurse appeared to play a central role in patient training and drug administration management (50.3%).
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014
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    • "The consequences of medication gaps have begun to be reported and gaps have been shown to be associated with an increased risk of MS relapse [27-29]. Tremlett et al. reported that therapy gaps were associated with a shorter time to first on-study relapse and trend towards future disease progression when compared to patients without missed doses [27]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Long-term persistence to treatment for chronic disease is difficult for patients to achieve, regardless of the disease or medication being used. The objective of this investigation was to examine treatment persistence with glatiramer acetate (GA) relative to available disease-modifying therapies (DMT) for multiple sclerosis (MS) over 12-, 24- and 36-month periods. Data from ClinformaticsTM for DataMart affiliated with OptumInsight was used to identify patients using DMT between 2001 and 2010. Patients with 12, 24, and 36 months of follow-up were included. Persistence was defined as continuous use of the same DMT for the duration of follow-up regardless of treatment gaps. Regimen changes including re-initiation of therapy following gaps of 15 days or more, switching therapy, and DMT discontinuation were investigated. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the results. Cohorts of GA users with 12 months (n = 12,144), 24 months (n = 7,386) and 36 months (n = 4,693) of follow-up were identified. Persistence rates with GA were 80% for all time periods; discontinuation rates declined over time while switching increased modestly. In contrast, the full DMT-treated cohorts showed persistent rates of 68.3% at 12 months (n = 35,312), 53.9% at 24 months (n = 21,927), and 70.1% at 36 months (n = 14,343). As with these full DMT-treated cohorts, the proportion of GA users remaining on their initial therapy without a gap of 15 days or more decreased with length of follow-up. However, the proportion of GA users with a gap in treatment who re-initiated GA increased over time (64.4% at 12 months; 75.1% at 24 months, and 80.1% at 36 months) while those in the full DMT-treated cohorts re-initiated therapy at rates of only 50-60%. Persistence rates for GA were 80% for the 12-, 24- and 36-month time periods in contrast with the full DMT-treated cohorts whose persistence rates never exceeded 70.0%. Although there were more gaps in therapy of 15 days or more with all DMT over time, the proportion of GA users re-initiating therapy increased with follow-up contributing to the steady persistence. Therapy persistence is essential to achieve the desired outcomes in MS.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · BMC Neurology
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    • "One of the most frequent reasons for missing injections is simply forgetting to administer the medication [8,10,13,14]. Thus, measures that regularly remind the patient to administer the medication may help to improve adherence, and ultimately clinical outcome. "
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, incurable, demyelinating disease that requires long-term treatment. Rates of non-adherence to prescribed therapy of up to 50% have been reported for chronic diseases. Strategies to improve treatment adherence are therefore of the utmost importance. This study will evaluate the effect of using electronic and paper diaries on treatment adherence to interferon beta-1b in patients with a first clinical isolated syndrome (CIS) or relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Here we report on the study design and results of baseline assessments. Patients were recruited into a prospective national multicenter cohort study for an observational period of 2 years. At the start of the study, patients opted to use a digital (DiD) or paper diary (PD) to document self-administered injections of interferon beta-1b. Adherence to treatment will be assessed on the dropout rate at the end of the observation period and on the regularity of injections every other day at 6-month intervals. Patient-related health outcomes will also be evaluated. 700 patients with a mean age of 38.3 (SD 10.3) years and a mean duration of disease since diagnosis of 3.6 (SD 5.9) years were enrolled. 383 patients opted for the digital diary, 192 of which included an injection reminder. Significantly more male than female patients opted for the DiD. Only gender was identified as a factor influencing the decision for DiD or PD. Based on rating scales, a significantly higher proportion of women had depressive comorbidities at baseline. Demographic characteristics of the two cohorts were similar at baseline. More women chose a paper diary, and more had depression at baseline. These imbalances will be addressed in the analysis of the study as possible confounders influencing long-term treatment adherence in the digital and paper diary cohorts.Trial Identifier: NCT00902135.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · BMC Neurology
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