Treat Multiple Sclerosis with an Asthma Drug?


Research results show that adding albuterol to the treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis can help them achieve improved clinical outcomes.

Research results published in the Archives of Neurologyshow that the addition of asthma and respiratory disease drug albuterol to the treatment plan of patients with multiple sclerosis can help them achieve improved clinical outcomes.

The improvement in outcomes is thought to be linked to the ability of albuterol to lower levels of interleukin-12, which encourages helper T cell generation that is linked to myelin degernation, the main cause of multiple sclerosis.

In the current study—lead by Samia J. Khoury, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston—the researchers randomized 44 patients with multiple sclerosis to glatiramer acetate plus abluterol or glatiramer acetate plus placebo.

The team found improvements in functional status in the abluterol group, compared with the placebo group at 6 and 12 months, but not 24 months, as well as a delay in time to relapse in the former group compared to the latter. Only three moderate or severe adverse events were determined to related to albuterol treatment.

Khoury and colleagues concluded “that treatment with glatiramer acetate plus albuterol is well tolerated and improves clinical outcomes in patients with multiple sclerosis. The combined regimen seems to enhance clinical response during the first year of therapy.”

For More:

  • Albuterol information from
  • New Research Could Impact Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases
  • Gene Variant may Increase Severity of Multiple Sclerosis
  • Severe Asthma in Children: Insights from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Severe Asthma Research Program
  • Violence in Inner City Neighborhoods Contributes to Trouble With Asthma, Study Finds
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