I take Avonex and have been virtually symptom-free, but would like to switch to Plegridy. I received a welcome packet that said that Plegridy has not been proven to be effective in people under 18 or over the age of 65. I am currently 62. Does the same warning apply to Avonex? Is it unwise to switch medications at my age?
The age bracket mentioned for Plegridy (18 to 65 years) is based on the clinical trial protocol that only allowed this age range in the study. From a real-world perspective, physicians tend not to limit the use of medications based strictly on the clinical trial protocol. As far as Avonex is concerned, that clinical trial which was published in 1995 (called the Multiple Sclerosis Collaborative Research Group, or MSCRG) only included patients between the ages of 18 to 55.
I'd recommend discussing the pros/cons of switching therapies with your provider. I certainly wouldn't get caught up on the age range as a contraindication for their use.
Hope this helps.
A. Scott Nielsen MD MMSc
Virginia Mason Multiple Sclerosis Center