Oral steroids may be cheaper, more convenient and less invasive alternatives than intravenous steroids in treating relapses in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, suggests an analysis of five randomized trials.
Glucocorticoids are recommended as the first line of treatment for MS relapses. Yet recent studies have shown no significant difference between oral methylprednisolone (a steroid) and intravenous methylprednisolone in terms of efficacy and safety.
In the study, “Oral versus intravenous methylprednisolone for the treatment of multiple sclerosis relapses: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” which appeared in the journal Plos One, Chinese researchers aimed to assess the clinical efficacy, safety and tolerability of oral versus intravenous methylprednisolone to treat MS relapses.
The team used searches to identify studies and trials that involved methylprednisolone treatment for MS. After extensive filtering of the literature, it narrowed the search down to five randomized, controlled trials. Within these trials, 198 patients had received oral methylprednisolone, while 200 patients had received intravenous methylprednisolone. Patients in these studies had similar mean ages and the duration of follow-up was between four and 24 weeks.