A new study has found a significant and progressive increase in the use of teriflunomide in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), particularly among treatment-naïve patients and young women. The study, published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences, also found that age and disability levels were factors affecting the response to the treatment.

“Since teriflunomide was launched, its use in clinical practice has grown considerably following positive efficacy and safety data from post marketing studies and real-world experiences, as well as based on high levels of treatment adherence and patient satisfaction,” the authors explained.

“Furthermore, the recent approval of teriflunomide for pediatric forms expands its clinical utility to even the youngest patients, marking a profound change from the drug’s initial usage primarily in older adults and males due to concerns about pregnancy safety.”

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The research team included 319 patients with MS who were given teriflunomide, 67 of whom were treatment-naïve and 252 who had switched from other medications.

They found a 20% increase in the use of teriflunomide in the treatment-naïve patients over the past 2 years, especially during the first year of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, an increase of more than 10% in women aged less than 45 years was also observed.

No Evidence of Disease Activity (NEDA-3) status was achieved in 120 out of 204 patients after 24 months and in 92 out of 160 patients after 36 months. A reduced annualized relapse rate in the 2 years prior to the initiation of teriflunomide, younger age at baseline, and lower Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score were all associated with achieving NEDA-3 status.


Lorefice L, Pilotto S, Fenu G, et al. Evolution of teriflunomide use in multiple sclerosis: a real-world experience. J Neurol Sci. Published online May 18, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2022.120292