alexa Infliximab and methotrexate as induction therapy in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.
Orthopaedics

Orthopaedics

Journal of Arthritis

Author(s): van der Bijl AE, GoekoopRuiterman YP, de VriesBouwstra JK, Ten Wolde S, Han KH,

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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of infliximab plus methotrexate (MTX) as induction therapy in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD)-naive patients with active, early RA who were included as group 4 of the BeSt study were initially treated with infliximab (3 mg/kg) in combination with MTX (25 mg/week). The Disease Activity Score (DAS) was measured every 3 months. In patients with persistent low disease activity (DAS 2.4, the infliximab dosage was increased (maximum 10 mg/kg), and they were subsequently switched to another DMARD. Except for intraarticular administration, corticosteroids were not permitted. Functional ability and the modified Sharp/van der Heijde score were determined after 2 years of therapy. RESULTS: Of the 120 patients, 67 responders (56\%) had persistent low disease activity and discontinued infliximab after a median of 9.9 months, with a median MTX dosage of 10 mg/week after 2 years. Ten other patients experienced a disease flare after discontinuation and resumed infliximab after a median of 3.7 months. Thirteen patients did not achieve persistent low disease activity and received infliximab at various dosages. Treatment was unsuccessful in 30 patients. In the 67 responders, the progression of joint damage was lower than in the 30 patients in whom treatment failed. CONCLUSION: Fifty-six percent of patients with active early RA, initially treated with infliximab plus MTX, could discontinue infliximab after achieving a DAS of
  • DOI: 10.1002/art.22718
  • This article was published in Arthritis Rheum and referenced in Journal of Arthritis

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