Adalimumab discontinuation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis after achieving sustained remission

Objective: to assess whether adalimumab (AD) can be gradually discontinued during continuous methotrexate (MTX) use in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA). Subjects and methods. Within the REMARCA (the Russian study of methotrexate and biological agents in early active arthritis) study, the investigators examined 20 patients (17 women and 3 men; median age, 51 [41.5; 56] years) with ERA (disease duration, 10 [5.5; 20] months; DAS28, 5.17 [4.37; 6.51]; 85% of the patients were seropositive for rheumatoid factor and 85% for anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies. Results and discussion. All the patients received subcutaneous MTX 25 mg/week. Twelve weeks after beginning therapy with MTX, due to its inefficiency, ADA was added according to the standard scheme. At week 24, the median DAS28 was 3.0 [1.65; 3.73]; 85% of the patients achieved remission or low disease activity. After 3 months of ADA therapy, high or moderate disease activity remained in 3 (15%) patients; median DAS28 was 4.4 [4.3; 6.1]; the drug was discontinued in them due to ineffective therapy. After 12-month follow-up, low DAS28 scores were observed in 5 (29.4%), DAS28 remission was in 12 (70.6%) of the 17 patients who continued ADA treatment; after 24 months, all the 17 patients were noted to have remission. After achieving sustained remission (≥ 6-month duration during ADA therapy), there was a carefully controlled reduction (titration) in the dose of ADA with its complete discontinuation, by maintaining remission at 36-month follow-up; the median DAS28 was 1.6 [1.4; 2.2]. During ADA treatment, one female patient developed pustular psoriasis and therefore the drug was discontinued at 24-month follow-up during the period of sustained remission. Other serious adverse events and tuberculosis cases were not recorded. Conclusion. Thus, the results of the study are indicative of the high clinical efficiency of the therapy. After ADA discontinuation, sustained remission can be maintained in patients with ERA and if they took biological agents early. © 2018 Ima-Press Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Demidova N.V.1 , Galushko E.A.1 , Glukhova S.I.1 , Savushkina N.M.1 , Satybaldyev A.M.1 , Cherkasova M.V.1 , Khoroshko N.V.2 , Maglevanyi S.V. 3 , Gordeev A.V.1
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  • 1 V.A. Nasonova Research Institute of Rheumatology, 34A, Kashirskoe Shosse, Moscow, 115522, Russian Federation
  • 2 Department of Rheumatology, Institute of Professional Education, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (Sechenov University), Ministry of Health of Russia, 8, Trubetskaya St., Build. 2, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
  • 3 Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, 6, Miklukho-Maklai St., Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
Adalimumab; Early rheumatoid arthritis; Remission
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