Aug 1, 2009

Retention rates of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Singapore Medical Journal
S AgarwalR Handa

Abstract

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) currently form the mainstay of treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We aimed to evaluate the retention rates of "therapeutic segments" of DMARDs in patients with RA. This was a cross-sectional study of RA patients with at least one year of follow-up. A therapeutic segment is said to begin when one DMARD combination is instituted and it ends with a subsequent change. The disability index for each patient was calculated using a modified health assessment questionnaire. Retention rates were calculated using the Kaplan Meier survival analysis. 375 DMARD courses in 102 patients were analysed. 99 courses were being continued at the time of the study and hence were censored for the purposes of analysis. The respective median (interquartile range [IQR]) retention period for segments containing methotrexate (MTX), sulfasalazine, hydroxychloroquine and leflunomide was 28 (15-45), 12 (3-20), 18 (9-24), 15 (4-32) months. The log-rank statistical test indicated that MTX was retained longer singly (median [IQR] 43 [32-70] months) than in combination (median [IQR] 19 [10-24] months) (p-value is 0.001). The commonest reason for the discontinuation of the DMARD segment was the disease "slipping...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Prevalence Studies
Leflunomide
Antirheumatic Drugs, Disease-Modifying
Antirheumatic Agents
Hydroxychloroquine
Statistical Test
Adverse Effects
Disability Evaluation
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Methotrexate

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