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Joint Bone Spine
Volume 72, n° 4
pages 309-312 (juillet 2005)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jbspin.2004.08.008
Received : 10 June 2004 ;  accepted : 19 August 2004
Infliximab continuation rates in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in everyday practice

Daniel Wendling a, , Guewen-Edouard Materne a, Fabrice Michel a, Anne Lohse a, Gaelle Lehuede a, Eric Toussirot a, Jacques Massol b, Marie-Christine Woronoff-Lemsi c
a Rheumatology Department, Minjoz Teaching Hospital, CHU Minjoz, 25030 Besançon, France 
b Clinical and Biological Research Center, Teaching Hospital, 25030 Besançon, France 
c Central Pharmacy, Minjoz Teaching Hospital, 25030 Besançon, France 

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +33-3-81-66-82-41; fax: +33-3-81-66-86-86.

Infliximab is a major breakthrough in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We evaluated infliximab continuation rates and reasons for discontinuation in patients with RA.

Patients and methods.- We studied patients with RA started on infliximab at any time between March 2000 and December 2002, under the conditions of everyday practice (as opposed to clinical trial settings), as recommended by the French marketing license (3 mg/kg as an intravenous infusion at weeks 0, 2, and 6 then at 8-week intervals). The number of infliximab infusions, side effects, and nonresponse rates was recorded. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to evaluate treatment continuation. Reasons for discontinuation were studied.

Results.- We included 41 patients, with a mean age of 54 years, a mean RA duration of 9 years, and a mean of three previous disease-modifying antirheumatic drug treatments. The total number of infliximab infusions was 461 with a mean of 10.8 per patient and a mean follow-up under treatment of 15.3 months. The proportions of patients still on infliximab were 82%, 74%, and 67% after 6, 12, and 24 months, respectively. The main reasons for discontinuation were escape phenomenon (n = 6, 42.8% of discontinuations) and allergy (n = 3); in one case each, the reason was primary ineffectiveness, severe infection, plans to start a pregnancy, poor compliance, and unavailability for follow-up. There were 59 recorded episodes of side effects, with a profile similar to that in the literature and in postmarketing databases.

Conclusion.- The infliximab continuation rate in everyday practice in patients with RA (67% after 2 years) was consistent with published data and with the results of controlled trials.

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Keywords : Infliximab, Treatment continuation rate, Rheumatoid arthritis

© 2004  Elsevier SAS. All Rights Reserved.
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