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Another MS Drug Warning

I posted an article in last week's newsletter about Tysabri, one of two so-called "wonder drugs" for multiple sclerosis (MS) that was pulled from the market not long after a patient died from a rare central nervous system infection. Late yesterday, drugmakers and the FDA issued a warning about the other MS wonder drug -- Avonex-- based on reports of severe liver damage.

Although Bioden Idex claimed there were few reports of such problems, Avonex caused liver damage "in the presence of other drugs that have been associated with [liver] injury," according to the FDA. No surprise, Biogen's stock price tumbled again, but one hard-hearted industry analyst seriously downplayed Avonex's risks, saying, in essence, not mixing Avonex with alcohol would solve the problem.

As I've warned earlier, Avonex, like Tysabri, is an interferon drug that can potentially damage the nervous system. If you're considering this kind of regimen, consider these safer alternatives:

Yahoo News March 16, 2005

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