Current evidence for the management of rheumatoid arthritis with glucocorticoids: a systematic literature review informing the EULAR recommendations for the management of rheumatoid arthritis
ABSTRACT Glucocorticoids (GCs) rapidly reduce disease activity in early and advanced rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This systematic review on behalf of the task force on recommendations for the management of RA addresses the efficacy of GCs in RA. A literature search was performed in Medline, Embase, the Cochrane database, and the ACR/EULAR abstracts 2007 and 2008 on a set of questions relating to the use of GCs in RA. Eleven publications (including three Cochrane reviews comprising 33 trials) that met the criteria for detailed assessment were found. Robust evidence that GCs are effective as bridging therapy was obtained. The addition of GCs, to either standard synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) monotherapy or combinations of synthetic DMARDs, yields clinical benefits and inhibition of radiographic progression that may extend over many years. In early RA, the addition of low-dose GCs (<7.5 mg/day) to DMARDs leads to a reduction in radiographic progression; in longstanding RA, GCs (up to 15 mg/day) improve disease activity. There is some evidence that appropriate timing of GC administration may result in less morning stiffness. Only indirect information was found on the best tapering strategy, supporting the general view that GCs should be tapered slowly in order to avoid clinical relapses. GCs are effective in relieving signs and symptoms and inhibiting radiographic progression, either as monotherapy or in combination with synthetic DMARD monotherapy or combination therapy.
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ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is initially treated with methotrexate and other disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Active RA patients who fail such treatments can receive tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFis), which are effective but expensive.Health technology assessment (Winchester, England) 10/2014; 18(66):1-164. DOI:10.3310/hta18660 · 5.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids play a pivotal role in the management of many inflammatory rheumatic diseases. The therapeutic effects range from pain relief in arthritides, to disease-modifying effects in early rheumatoid arthritis, and to strong immunosuppressive actions in vasculitides and systemic lupus erythematosus. There are multiple indications that adverse effects are more frequent with the longer use of glucocorticoids and use of higher dosages, but high-quality data on the occurrence of adverse effects are scarce especially for dosages above 10 mg prednisone daily. The underlying rheumatic disease, disease activity, risk factors and individual responsiveness of the patient should guide treatment decisions. Monitoring for adverse effects should also be tailored to the patient. Continuously balancing the benefits and risks of glucocorticoid therapy is recommended. There is an ongoing quest for new drugs with glucocorticoid actions without the potential to cause harmful effects, such as selective glucocorticoid receptor agonists, but the application of a new compound in clinical practice will probably not occur within the next few years. In the meantime, basic research on glucocorticoid effects and detailed reports on therapeutic efficacy and occurrence of adverse effects will be valuable in weighing benefits and risks in clinical practice.Arthritis Research & Therapy 11/2014; 16 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S2. DOI:10.1186/ar4686 · 4.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Our objective was to evaluate the effect of background biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) and/or corticosteroids (CS) on response to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The following efficacy endpoints were evaluated using time-weighted change from baseline in a 12-week, randomized controlled clinical trial with etoricoxib: Patient Global Assessment of Pain, Swollen Joint Count, Tender Joint Count, Health Assessment Questionnaire. The following three treatment groups were evaluated: placebo, pooled etoricoxib 10/30/60 mg, and etoricoxib 90 mg. Screening values, values post flare, as well as changes after treatment were analyzed. Of the 1014 patients screened, 761 were randomized; 50% were on no background bDMARDs and/or CS therapy, 23% used bDMARDs, 34% used CS, and 8% used both bDMARDs and CS. It was demonstrated that RA patients on bDMARDs or CS had similar pain levels at screening as patients without this co-medication. They experienced flare upon NSAID withdrawal and demonstrated dose-dependent pain improvement with etoricoxib. These results support that RA patients receiving bDMARDs or CS may still require the use of concomitant analgesics to treat pain. Clinicians should continue to monitor and treat pain even after initiating a bDMARD and/or CS. [clinicaltrials.gov; NCT00264147 ].BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 12/2015; 16(1):468. DOI:10.1186/s12891-015-0468-7 · 1.90 Impact Factor