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Concept: Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug

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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI) compared with subjects without RA, with the increased risk driven potentially by inflammation. Tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) may modulate the risk and severity of MI. We compared the risk and severity of MI in patients treated with TNFi with that in those receiving synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (sDMARDs).

Concepts: Rheumatology, Inflammation, Atherosclerosis, Infarction, Necrosis, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Myocardial infarction, Rheumatoid arthritis

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To monitor whether biologic DMARD (bDMARD) home storage temperatures comply with the manufacturers' Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) recommendations.

Concepts: Manufacturing, Chemical reaction, Thermodynamics, Temperature, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug

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To evaluate apremilast treatment in patients with active psoriatic arthritis, including current skin involvement, despite prior therapy with conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and/or biologic agents.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Methotrexate, Rheumatoid arthritis, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Psoriatic arthritis

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Medications for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may affect survival. However, studies often include limited follow-up and do not account for selection bias in treatment allocation. Using a large longitudinal database, we examined the association between prednisone use and mortality in RA, and whether this risk was modified with concomitant disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) use, after controlling for propensity for treatment with prednisone and individual DMARDs.

Concepts: Immunology, Sodium aurothiomalate, Cyclophosphamide, Sulfasalazine, Methotrexate, Hydroxychloroquine, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Rheumatoid arthritis

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Clinical evidence demonstrates coadministration of tumour necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) agents and methotrexate (MTX) is more efficacious than administration of TNFi agents alone in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, leading to the perception that coadministration of MTX with all biologic agents or oral disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs is necessary for maximum efficacy. Real-life registry data reveal approximately one-third of patients taking biologic agents use them as monotherapy. Additionally, an analysis of healthcare claims data showed that when MTX was prescribed in conjunction with a biologic agent, as many as 58% of patients did not collect the MTX prescription. Given this discrepancy between perception and real life, we conducted a review of the peer-reviewed literature and rheumatology medical congress abstracts to determine whether data support biologic monotherapy as a treatment option for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Our analysis suggests only for tocilizumab is there evidence that the efficacy of biologic monotherapy is comparable with combination therapy with MTX.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Sulfasalazine, Pharmacology, Hydroxychloroquine, Rheumatology, Methotrexate, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Rheumatoid arthritis

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To analyse the role of multibiomarker disease activity (MBDA) score in predicting disease relapses in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in sustained remission who tapered disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy in RETRO, a prospective randomised controlled trial.

Concepts: Autoimmune diseases, Sulfasalazine, Rheumatology, Methotrexate, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Randomized controlled trial, Hydroxychloroquine, Rheumatoid arthritis

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Background Tofacitinib is an oral Janus kinase inhibitor that is under investigation for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. We evaluated tofacitinib in patients with active psoriatic arthritis who previously had an inadequate response to conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Methods In this 12-month, double-blind, active-controlled and placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned patients in a 2:2:2:1:1 ratio to receive one of the following regimens: tofacitinib at a 5-mg dose taken orally twice daily (107 patients), tofacitinib at a 10-mg dose taken orally twice daily (104), adalimumab at a 40-mg dose administered subcutaneously once every 2 weeks (106), placebo with a blinded switch to the 5-mg tofacitinib dose at 3 months (52), or placebo with a blinded switch to the 10-mg tofacitinib dose at 3 months (53). Placebo groups were pooled for analyses up to month 3. Primary end points were the proportion of patients who had an American College of Rheumatology 20 (ACR20) response (≥20% improvement from baseline in the number of tender and swollen joints and at least three of five other important domains) at month 3 and the change from baseline in the Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ-DI) score (scores range from 0 to 3, with higher scores indicating greater disability) at month 3. Results ACR20 response rates at month 3 were 50% in the 5-mg tofacitinib group and 61% in the 10-mg tofacitinib group, as compared with 33% in the placebo group (P=0.01 for the comparison of the 5-mg dose with placebo; P<0.001 for the comparison of the 10-mg dose with placebo); the rate was 52% in the adalimumab group. The mean change in the HAQ-DI score was -0.35 in the 5-mg tofacitinib group and -0.40 in the 10-mg tofacitinib group, as compared with -0.18 in the placebo group (P=0.006 for the comparison of the 5-mg dose with placebo; P<0.001 for the comparison of the 10-mg dose with placebo); the score change was -0.38 in the adalimumab group. The rate of adverse events through month 12 was 66% in the 5-mg tofacitinib group, 71% in the 10-mg tofacitinib group, 72% in the adalimumab group, 69% in the placebo group that switched to the 5-mg tofacitinib dose, and 64% in the placebo group that switched to the 10-mg tofacitinib dose. There were four cases of cancer, three serious infections, and four cases of herpes zoster in patients who received tofacitinib during the trial. Conclusions The efficacy of tofacitinib was superior to that of placebo at month 3 in patients with psoriatic arthritis who had previously had an inadequate response to conventional synthetic DMARDs. Adverse events were more frequent with tofacitinib than with placebo. (Funded by Pfizer; OPAL Broaden ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01877668 .).

Concepts: Infliximab, Etanercept, Psoriasis, Placebo, Clinical trial, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis

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Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is implicated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pathophysiology. Unlike IL-6 receptor inhibitors, sirukumab is a human monoclonal antibody that selectively binds to the IL-6 cytokine. The phase III, multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group SIRROUND-D study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01604343) evaluated the efficacy and safety of sirukumab in patients with active RA refractory to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.

Concepts: Tocilizumab, Hydroxychloroquine, Antibody, Immunology, Rheumatology, Monoclonal antibodies, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Rheumatoid arthritis

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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at an increased risk of malignancies compared with the general population. This has raised concerns regarding these patients, particularly with the widespread use of immunomodulating therapies, including biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). We performed a systematic literature review and analysis to quantify the incidence of malignancies in patients with RA and the general population to update previously published data.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Sulfasalazine, Methotrexate, Rheumatology, Systematic review, Hydroxychloroquine, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Rheumatoid arthritis