Plegridy is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014 for people who have relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). The drug name of Plegridy is Peginterferon beta 1a. Plegridy is not a cure for MS, but it can decrease the number of relapses you experience, delay the disease progression, and minimize the number of brain lesions.
Plegridy must be used with caution and closely monitored in people with a history of depression, seizures, blood disorders, or heart or liver problems. Plegridy is not suitable for use by pregnant women, women who plan to become pregnant, or women who are breastfeeding. Plegridy should not be taken by anyone allergic to interferon beta.
It is believed that Plegridy works by reducing inflammation in the brain. It may also promote nerve growth.
How do I take it?
Plegridy is taken once every two weeks as a subcutaneous injection in the upper arm, abdomen, or thigh. You can learn to inject yourself, have a friend or family member learn how to inject you, or receive your injection from a medical professional. You should change to a different site each time you inject, and never inject into any part of the skin that is scarred, infected, bruised or irritated.
Before or during your treatment with Plegridy, your doctor may order extra blood tests to monitor your liver function and blood cell counts.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Plegridy.
In a one-year study, 512 people with relapsing MS took Peginterferon beta 1a (Plegridy), while 500 people were given a placebo. At the end of the study, those who took Peginterferon beta 1a had 36 percent fewer relapses, 38 percent less risk of disease progression, and significantly fewer brain lesions than those who took the placebo.
It is very common to experience flu-like symptoms during the first few days of taking Plegridy. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken to ease the discomfort.
Some people experience neurological symptoms including mood or behavioral problems including depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, irritability, or hallucinations while taking Plegridy.
Plegridy can cause some people to develop liver problems or experience a worsening of existing liver problems. Signs of liver problems can include jaundice (yellowing of the white part of the eye), nausea, loss of appetite, dark urine, and pale feces, and bleeding more easily than usual. If you experience any of these effects, contact your doctor immediately.
Plegridy may cause autoimmune conditions such as bleeding disorders, liver problems, or thyroid issues.
Plegridy can also cause allergic reactions. Get medical help immediately if you experience difficulty breathing or swelling in the face, throat, eyes, lips, or tongue.