Life table analysis of 879 treatment episodes with slow acting antirheumatic drugs in community rheumatology practice
In 596 patients with RA managed over a decade in a community practice setting, 879 slow acting antirheumatic drug (SAARD) treatment episodes were analyzed using 5-year life tables. The probability of continuation of therapy was 50% by 9-24 months for all drugs except for methotrexate (MTX), which was 62% by 5 years [corrected]. MTX treatments were of significantly longer duration than those of all other SAARD (p less than 0.001); terminations for both inefficacy (p less than 0.001) and toxicity (NS) were less likely. These findings concur with recent evidence suggesting that MTX is a superior SAARD in this setting.