Assessing Barriers to Adherence with the Use of Dimethyl Fumarate in Multiple Sclerosis

Angela Aungst, Lise Casady, Crystal Dixon, Janice Maldonado, Natalie Moreo, Laurie Pearsall, Derrick Robertson
Clinical Drug Investigation 2020, 40 (1): 73-81

BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory, central nervous system demyelinating disease that requires long-term use of disease-modifying therapies (DMT). Patient adherence to DMT is key in reducing the inflammation that leads to relapses and neurodegeneration. Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) poses unique challenges to adherence including being the only twice-daily dosing DMT. Previous research suggests there are direct roles that providers play on improving their patients' adherence rates, such as focusing on the patient-provider relationship, helping put the patient at ease so that they feel understood and respected. Also, route of administration affects adherence in other chronic healthcare conditions. However, the issue of adherence to DMT in MS is more complex than just route of administration, with adverse effects being the main predictor of adherence.

OBJECTIVES: (1) To define various patient specific factors (e.g. fatigue and mood disorders) that affect adherence with DMF and (2) to understand how patients' perceptions of treatment satisfaction (such as effectiveness, convenience, side effects and global satisfaction) and DMFs impact on quality of life (such as social support, activities of daily living, coping) influence adherence.

METHODS: Our study was a prospective, observational measurement of adherence to treatment with DMF in MS patients over 52 weeks. Twenty-five out of thirty-five patients enrolled completed the study. Adverse event (AE) data was reviewed on all participants.

RESULTS: Adherence rates correlated with patient's perceived effectiveness (0.25, p < 0.023) and the level of bothersome symptoms the patient experienced (0.45, p < 0.0001). The majority of new AE onset was reported within 12 weeks of DMF initiation. This is consistent with previously published data with DMF use.

CONCLUSION: Adherence rates are an important factor to be considered when starting patients on DMT. DMF creates its own barriers to adherence with our study highlighting some, including twice-daily dosing and AEs experienced following treatment initiation. Healthcare providers should be aware of these barriers prior to treatment initiation and counsel patients appropriately.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"