INTRODUCTION; Interferon beta lb (IFN?Beta) is available in Italy since february 1996. We report our experience with the first 30 patients treated in our Center. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 18 F, 12 M, aged 23-49; mean follow-up 9.4 mo.(range 12-3); 21 pts have a follow-up29 mo. RESULTS ; side effects were minor in all and restricted to the first 3 mo. of treatment but for the local reaction at the injection site; 5 pts had a relapse in the first 3 mo.s of treatment; 2 had a second relapse at 6-7 mo.s, pretreatment relapse rates (PT-Rr) were 3 and 2; 14 further pts had a relapse 5-12 mo.s after treatment; had 2 other relapses 1 and 6 mo. later, PT-Rr was 2; 1 had a relapse 2 mo. later, PT-Rr was.1.5, both are candidates for the HxA assay. CONCLUSIONI Our preliminary data confirm the limited efficacy of IFN? in RR-MS; in a very selected group of patients side effects were minor. MRI studies will be performed at 1 yr. Acknowledgement' The financial support of AISM is gratefully acknowledged.
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