Evolution of teriflunomide use in multiple sclerosis: A real-world experience

J Neurol Sci. 2022 Jul 15;438:120292. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2022.120292. Epub 2022 May 18.


Objectives: The present study aims to describe the evolution of teriflunomide use for multiple sclerosis (MS) in the clinical setting, in particular for naïve patients and young women. Predictors of treatment response were also investigated.

Methods: This was an independent, retrospective, real-world monocentric study. We analysed the use of teriflunomide from 2016 to 2020 in patients categorized as naïve or switchers, and assessed the variations in its use in men and women by age group. Clinical and MRI data of treated patients were evaluated, and NEDA-3 status at 24 and 36 months was defined. Determinants of therapeutic response were examined using regression analysis.

Results: The study included 319 MS patients exposed to teriflunomide [209 women (65.5%)]. Of these, 67 (21%) were naïve and 252 (79%) were switchers. A 20% increase of teriflunomide use in the naïve group in the past two years, particularly in 2020, the first year of global Sars-Cov-2 spread, was observed. An increase of teriflunomide use of more than 10% in young women under age 45 was also reported. NEDA-3 status was calculated for 204 patients after 24 months and was achieved in 120 (58.8%) of these ones. NEDA-3 was also achieved in 92/160 (56.8%) patients at 36 months. A lower ARR in the two years prior to teriflunomide treatment (p = 0.026), lower baseline age (p = 0.05), and lower EDSS score (p = 0.009) were associated with achievement of the NEDA-3.

Conclusions: Our study confirms a major evolution in teriflunomide use in clinical settings, particularly for naïve patients and young women.

Keywords: Female issue; Multiple sclerosis; NEDA-3; Real-world experience; Teriflunomide.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Crotonates
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxybutyrates
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / drug therapy
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting* / drug therapy
  • Nitriles
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Toluidines


  • Crotonates
  • Hydroxybutyrates
  • Nitriles
  • Toluidines
  • teriflunomide