The AAN's new "Evidence Report: The Efficacy and Safety of Mitoxantrone (Novantrone) in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis" was published online on May 3, 2010, and in the May 4 issue of the journal Neurology®. The report finds that people with MS who take mitoxantrone (MX) are at risk of developing heart failure and acute leukemia. This risk is higher than previously thought.
The report states that neurologists and their patients should carefully consider the health risks of using MX. While research shows MX can help slow MS disease activity and progression, serious heart damage or cancer may develop later. People with MS who take MX should be monitored over time for heart problems and acute leukemia. Although unproven, monitoring might help detect a developing health problem. More post-marketing research is needed on the risks of MX in people with MS.