The “strange story” of Interferon-α: A very peculiar biologic agent

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Biologic agents are widely used in patients with uveitis. Interferon alpha is one of the first agents tested in this indication. Its efficacy was reported in the early 90's in patients with severe and refractory Behçet's disease-associated uveitis. Several other studies from different centers have confirmed the initial results. However, this agent is mostly used in Europe. Severe posterior, intermediate and panuveitis may respond to interferon alpha. Some infectious entities such as herpetic viral retinopathies are also appropriate candidates. Doses vary between centres and countries. Tolerance is a major factor to consider. The drug may be discontinued in up to 40% of cases for various side effects. Interferon alpha is a double-edged sword in a few situations. LOng-term remission or healing may be obtained after long-term use of the drug.

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