Treatment of primary Sjögren's syndrome with low-dose natural human interferon-alpha administered by the oral mucosal route: a phase II clinical trial. IFN Protocol Study Group

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1999 Aug;19(8):943-51. doi: 10.1089/107999099313497.


The purpose of this investigation was to examine the safety and efficacy of four dosages of natural human interferon-alpha (nHuIFN-alpha) delivered over a 12-week period orally in lozenges (150 IU and 450 IU, once [QD] or three times [TID] daily) compared to placebo in subjects with primary Sjögren's syndrome. This randomized, double-blinded clinical trial demonstrated that nHuIFN-alpha at a dose of 150 IU administered TID by oral lozenge significantly improved stimulated whole saliva output compared to placebo after 12 weeks of treatment. The 150 IU TID dose also was suggestive of benefit for 5 of 7 subjective measures of oral and ocular comfort. IFN lozenges demonstrated a good safety profile, with no serious adverse events found in any treatment group. There were no significant differences between the placebo and the four doses of IFN for adverse events by total number, organ system, severity, dropouts, and number judged to be related to treatment. In conclusion, these results demonstrated that the use of 150 IU IFN lozenges TID for 12 weeks in subjects with primary Sjögren's syndrome improved salivary output and decreased complaints of xerostomia without causing significant adverse medical events.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / adverse effects
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Mucosa / drug effects
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Secretory Rate / drug effects
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / drug therapy*


  • Interferon-alpha