[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 1973

Multiple Sclerosis Unaffected by Azathioprine in Pilot Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology (Drs. Silberberg and Lisak) and Department of Internal Medicine, Allergy and Immunology Division (Dr. Zweiman), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Arch Neurol. 1973;28(3):210-212. doi:10.1001/archneur.1973.00490210090017

Azathioprine (2.0 to 4.7 mg/kg/day) was administered to 15 multiple sclerosis patients for an average of 15 months. The conditions of five of six patients who had chronic progressive courses prior to administration of azathioprine continued to deteriorate. Four of six patients who had a remitting and exacerbating course had six exacerbations in a total of 78 months of treatment, an average of one exacerbation per 13 months. Evidence of varying degrees of immune suppression occurred in approximately half the patients. Neither the type nor degree of suppression, nor the dose of azathioprine required to depress the patients' peripheral white blood cell count to 4,000/cu mm bore any relationship to their clinical course. We see no evidence for beneficial effect of azathioprine administered to multiple sclerosis patients in doses ordinarily regarded as immunosuppressive.