Author(s): GonzalezLopez L, GarciaGonzalez A, VazquezDelMercado M, MuozValle JF, GamezNava JI
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of methotrexate (MTX) compared with placebo in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS). METHODS: This 24 week, double bind, randomized, placebo controlled trial compared the response between MTX 7.5 mg/week or placebo in patients with active AS. The primary outcome measure was a composite index of improvement in 5 of the following scales: severity of morning stiffness, physical well being, the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI), the Health Assessment Questionnaire for Spondyloarthropathies (HAQ-S), and physician and patient global assessment of disease activity. RESULTS: Seventeen patients received MTX and 18 placebo. In the intention-to-treat analysis at 24 weeks, 53\% of patients in the MTX group had a treatment response, compared with 17\% in the placebo group (p = 0.03). We observed significant improvements with MTX in physical well being (p = 0.009), BASDAI (p = 0.02), BASFI (p = 0.02), physician global assessment (p < 0.001), patient global assessment (p = 0.03), and HAQ-S (p = 0.02). In the adjusted analysis only MTX determined the improvement in the primary outcome. At the end of the trial, one patient with MTX withdrew due to a lack of compliance, and one with placebo due to a lack of efficacy. We did not observe significant differences in rates of side effects between the 2 groups. CONCLUSION: MTX is safe and effective for patients with AS. Longterm studies are needed to evaluate the permanence of its benefit.
This article was published in J Rheumatol
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis