Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre

Welcome to the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre. This website is intended for international healthcare professionals with an interest in Multiple Sclerosis. By clicking the link below you are declaring and confirming that you are a healthcare professional

You are here

Teriflunomide: A Once-Daily Oral Medication for the Treatment of Relapsing Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

Aaron E. Miller

Clinical Therapeutics, Volume 37, Issue 10, 1 October 2015, Pages 2366–2380

Abstract
 

Purpose

The purpose was to summarize US prescribing information for teriflunomide in the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS), with reference to clinical efficacy and safety outcomes.

Methods

In September 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration granted approval for the use of teriflunomide, 14 mg and 7 mg once daily, to treat RMS on the basis of the results of a Phase II study and the Phase III TEMSO (Teriflunomide Multiple Sclerosis Oral) trial. After recent updates to the prescribing information (October 2014), key findings from these and 2 other Phase III clinical trials, TOWER (Teriflunomide Oral in People With Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis) and TOPIC (Oral Teriflunomide for Patients with a First Clinical Episode Suggestive of Multiple Sclerosis), and practical considerations for physicians are summarized.

Findings

Teriflunomide, 14 mg and 7 mg, significantly reduced mean number of unique active lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; P < 0.05 for both doses) in the Phase II study. In the TEMSO and TOWER studies, the 14-mg dose of teriflunomide significantly reduced annualized relapse rate (31% and 36% relative risk reduction compared with placebo, respectively; both P < 0.001) and risk of disability progression sustained for 12 weeks (hazard ratio vs placebo 0.70 and 0.69, respectively; both P < 0.05). The 7-mg dose significantly (P < 0.02) reduced annualized relapse rate in both studies, although the reduction in risk of disability progression was not statistically significant. Teriflunomide treatment was also associated with significant efficacy on MRI measures of disease activity in TEMSO; both doses significantly reduced total lesion volume and number of gadolinium-enhancing T1 lesions. TOPIC evaluated patients with a first clinical event consistent with acute demyelination and brain MRI lesions characteristic of multiple sclerosis. More patients were free of relapse in the teriflunomide 14-mg and 7-mg groups than in the placebo group (P < 0.05 for both comparisons). In safety data pooled from the 4 studies, adverse events occurring in ≥2% of patients and ≥2% higher than in the placebo group were headache, alanine aminotransferase increase, diarrhea, alopecia (hair thinning), nausea, paresthesia, arthralgia, neutropenia, and hypertension. Routine monitoring procedures before and on treatment are recommended to assess potential safety issues. Women of childbearing potential must use effective contraception and, in the event of pregnancy, undergo an accelerated elimination procedure to reduce plasma concentrations of teriflunomide.

Implications

Clinical evidence suggests that teriflunomide is an effective therapeutic choice for patients with RMS, both as an initial treatment and as an alternative for patients who may have experienced intolerance or inadequate response to a previous or current disease-modifying therapy.

Search this site

Stay up-to-date with our monthly e-alert

If you want to regularly receive information on what is happening in MS research sign up to our e-alert.

Subscribe »

About the Editors

  • Prof Timothy Vartanian

    Timothy Vartanian, Professor at the Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Department of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell...
  • Dr Claire S. Riley

    Claire S. Riley, MD is an assistant attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology in the Neurological Institute, Columbia University,...
  • Dr Rebecca Farber

    Rebecca Farber, MD is an attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology at the Neurological Institute, Columbia University, in New...

This online Resource Centre has been made possible by a donation from EMD Serono, Inc., a business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Note that EMD Serono, Inc., has no editorial control or influence over the content of this Resource Centre. The Resource Centre and all content therein are subject to an independent editorial review.

The Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation
supports promising translational research projects by academic researchers to improve understanding of multiple sclerosis (MS) for the ultimate benefit of patients.  For full information and application details, please click here

Journal Editor's choice

Recommended by Prof. Brenda Banwell

Causes of death among persons with multiple sclerosis

Gary R. Cutter, Jeffrey Zimmerman, Amber R. Salter, et al.

Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, September 2015, Vol 4 Issue 5