Background Evidence suggests Cladribine is a highly effective, safe and convenient disease modifying treatment (DMT) for people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). We report our experience using Cladribine in pwMS.
Methods Cladribine was offered to pwMS with clinical and/or MRI disease activity, however restricted choice of DMT. Treatment cycles consisted of Cladribine administered as subcutaneous injections over a total of up to 6 days (10 mg/day) in 5 weeks, adjusted to individual lymphocyte counts.
Results Seventeen pwMS (ten women and seven men) have had a first treatment cycle of Cladribine. Mean age was 44 years (34–60 years), median EDSS was 5 (2–8). No acute side effects were observed. Lymphocyte counts dropped from a mean of 1.81×10*9/L (Range: 0.9–3.4) at baseline to 1.41×10*9/L (0.7–3) 4 weeks after starting treatment, and to 1.02×10*9/L (0.6–1.6) 4 weeks later. Other white cell counts were not affected. No serious treatment-related adverse event was observed. No clinical MS disease activity was observed after a mean follow-up of four months (1–15).
Conclusion Cladribine was well tolerated and led to an expected drop in lymphocyte counts leaving other cell lines unaffected. Long term follow-up is underway to evaluate the effect of Cladribine in pwMS.