Pegylated interferon beta-1a (Plegridy) Italian real-world experience: a Delphi analysis of injection-site reaction and flu-like symptom management

Cinzia Cordioli, Graziella Callari, Roberta Fantozzi, Francesca Caruso, Giuseppe Martucci, Santa Mascara, Valentina Zipoli

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BACKGROUND AND AIM: Peginterferon beta-1a (Plegridy) offers the advantage of a prolonged half-life with less-frequent administration and a higher patient adherence. However, the use of an interferon may lead to flu-like symptoms (FLS) and injection-site reactions (ISR) that results in drug discontinuation. The objective of this Delphi analysis was to obtain consensus on the characteristics and management of FLS/ISR of peginterferon beta-1a in patients with relapsing-remitting MS based on real-world clinical experiences.4 METHODS: A steering committee of MS neurologists and nurses identified issues regarding the features and management of adverse events and generated a questionnaire used to conduct three rounds of the Delphi web survey with an Italian expert panel (54 neurologists and nurses).

RESULTS: Fifty-three (100%), fifty-one (96.22%), and forty-two (79.24%) responders completed questionnaires 1, 2, and 3 respectively. Responders reported that, during the first 6 months of treatment, FLS generally occurred 6-12 h after injection; the fever tended to resolve after 12-24 h; otherwise, FLS lasted up to 48 h. FLS improved or disappeared after 6 months of treatment in most cases. Paracetamol was recommended as the first choice for managing FLS. Erythema was the most common ISR and usually resolved within 1 week after injection. Responders reported that the adherence to treatment increases after adequate patient education on the drug's tolerability profile.

CONCLUSIONS: Patient education and counseling play a key role in promoting adherence to treatment especially in the first months also in patients switching from nonpegylated IFNs to peginterferon beta-1a.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1515-1521
Number of pages7
JournalNeurol. Sci.
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Humans
  • Interferon beta-1a
  • Interferon-beta/administration & dosage
  • Italy
  • Polyethylene Glycols/administration & dosage


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