Low-dose prednisone inclusion in a methotrexate-based, tight control strategy for early rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized trial Full Text
Annals of Internal Medicine, 03/09/2012
Bakker MF et al. – Inclusion of low–dose prednisone in an MTX–based treatment strategy for tight control in early RA improves patient outcomes.Methods
- A 2–year, prospective, randomized, placebo–controlled, double–blind, multicenter trial (CAMERA–II [Computer Assisted Management in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis trial–II]).
- 7 hospitals in the Netherlands.
- 236 patients with early RA (duration <1 year).
- Patients were randomly assigned to an MTX–based, tight control strategy starting with either MTX and prednisone or MTX and placebo.
- Methotrexate treatment was tailored to the individual patient at monthly visits on the basis of predefined response criteria aiming for remission.
- The primary outcome was radiographic erosive joint damage after 2 years.
- Secondary outcomes included response criteria, remission, and the need to add cyclosporine or a biologic agent to the treatment.
- Erosive joint damage after 2 years was limited and less in the group receiving MTX and prednisone (n = 117) than in the group receiving MTX and placebo (n = 119).
- The MTX and prednisone strategy was also more effective in reducing disease activity and physical disability, achieving sustained remission, and avoiding the addition of cyclosporine or biologic treatment.
- Adverse events were similar in both groups, but some occurred less in the MTX and prednisone group.