PLEGRIDY® (peginterferon beta-1a)

Approved in Australia November 2014

PLEGRIDY is used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). PLEGRIDY belongs to a group of medicines called interferons. The active substance in PLEGRIDY is peginterferon beta-1a. Peginterferon beta-1a is a long-acting form of interferon. Interferons exist naturally in the body to help fight viral infections and regulate the body’s immunity. Although the exact mechanism of interferons in MS is unknown, it is thought that PLEGRIDY works by decreasing the unwanted immune reaction against myelin.

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ABOUT MS
The cause of MS is not yet known. MS affects the brain and spinal cord. In MS, the body’s immune system reacts against its own myelin (the ‘insulation’ surrounding nerve fibres). In relapsing forms of MS, people have ‘exacerbations’ from time to time (eg. blurred vision, weakness in the legs or arms, or loss of control of bowel or bladder function). They are followed by periods of recovery. Recovery may be complete or incomplete. If it is incomplete there is ‘progression of disability’.