Methylprednisolone and the suger pill

Hello, my partner has been offered a 6 month trial of GSK239512 in the hope that this will regrow myelin and conclude better recovery, upon further reading and NOT in the consulation with the neuro. its shown that 50% of test patients will be given the test drug and the other half a fake drug in order to determine the outcome… psychologically or physically. The other option for her is to take the steroid ‘methylprednisolone’ to cure her hand symptoms of late. (diagnosis being swelling in the spinal cord) this is a weeks worth of oral drugs.

My 2 questions please… is WHY take a test drug for 6 months, along with numerous blood tests, cognitive tests etc… all in the hope things are better by the end of the trial… at the end she is still on avonex and no better from being a guinea pig. Surely its best to take the steroids and get the slight relapse fixed properly.

… and are there any side effects with the steroids prescribed. its only a weeks worth and 5 pills a day…

Anyone with experience please offer any advice thanks :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance,


Hi Mark

Your first question.
There are two answers:

  • This might just help find a cure for MS
  • The odds of your partner getting a favourable deal (the active medication) are exactly 2:1. If she gets it, the odds of a favourouble outcome are also exactly 2:1. Overall, the odds of her getting a good outcome are, therefore, exactly 4:1. Compare that to the odds of winning the National Lottery (14,000,000:1), and it looks to be a much better bet.And, if nothing works out, all it has cost her is a few blood samples and a few tests.

Most trials do, of course, involve placebo controls, and do so on the basis that neither the trial subject, or the person handing out the tablets (or whatever) knows which is which. There are some very sound scientific reasons for this. Unles the Neuro is directly involved in the trial, I would not expect him/her to discuss the trial protocol with a possible subject.

Your second question.
Provided she gets two weeks worth of Omeprazole to stop from getting stomach cramps, etc, there are probably no serious side effects. Maybe a somewhat flushed face, maybe a temporary weight gain.

There is no comparison between the two - steroids will reduce inflammation and speed up recovery, but will not repair any damage.
Some authorities say that such a course of steroids should not be repeated for a minimum six months.