Monthly shot plus weekly methotrexate even pushed some into remission, study says
WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Adding monthly injections of golimumab to weekly doses of methotrexate helped most people with rheumatoid arthritis, even putting some into remission, two new studies show.
The findings on golimumab, an anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha biologic therapy drug, were scheduled to be presented Tuesday at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress of Rheumatology, in Paris.
In the first study, one group of patients taking methotrexate weekly for active rheumatoid arthritis were given either 50-milligram or 100-milligram doses of golimumab via subcutaneous injections, while the rest of the patients received a placebo and methotrexate.
After just 14 weeks, 35 percent of those receiving 50-milligram doses of golimumab and 32 percent of patients in the 100-milligram group achieved remission as measured by Disease Activity Score. Only 13 percent in the placebo group reached remission. These improvements were sustained for six months.
More than two-thirds of the golimumab patients increased their ability to perform routine activities such as arising, dressing, eating, walking, hygiene, reaching and gripping after 24 weeks on the additional drug. Some of the improvements were noticeable after four weeks of the first golimumab injection, and the golimumab patients generally continued to improve over the duration of the study.
Only 39 percent of those in the placebo group showed similar improvement after 24 weeks.
"The data in this study demonstrate that golimumab is beneficial in improving numerous disease parameters, including inducing remission, in patients whose disease was active despite ongoing treatment with methotrexate," lead investigator Dr. Edward Keystone, director of the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis and Autoimmune Disease at Mount Sinai Hos
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