Tapering towards DMARD-free remission in established rheumatoid arthritis: 2-year results of the TARA trial.

Like Comment
To evaluate the 2-year clinical effectiveness of two gradual tapering strategies. The first strategy consisted of tapering the conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) first (i.e., methotrexate in ~90%), followed by the tumour necrosis factor inhibitor (TNF-inhibitor), the second strategy consisted of tapering the TNF-inhibitor first, followed by the csDMARD.This multicentre single-blinded randomised controlled trial included patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with well-controlled disease for ≥3 consecutive months, defined as a Disease Activity Score (DAS) measured in 44 joints ≤2.4 and a swollen joint count ≤1, which was achieved with a csDMARD and a TNF-inhibitor. Eligible patients were randomised into gradual tapering the csDMARD followed by the TNF-inhibitor, or vice versa. The primary outcome was the number of disease flares. Secondary outcomes were DMARD-free remission (DFR), DAS, functional ability (Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI)) and radiographic progression.189 patients were randomly assigned to tapering their csDMARD (n=94) or TNF-inhibitor (n=95) first. The cumulative flare rate after 24 months was, respectively, 61% (95% CI 50% to 71%) and 62% (95% CI 52% to 72%). The patients who tapered their csDMARD first were more often able to go through the entire tapering protocol and reached DFR more often than the group that tapered the TNF-inhibitor first (32% vs 20% (p=0.12) and 21% vs 10% (p=0.07), respectively). Mean DAS and HAQ-DI over time, and radiographic progression did not differ between groups (p=0.45, p=0.17, p=0.8, respectively).The order of tapering did not affect flare rates, DAS or HAQ-DI. DFR was achievable in 15% of patients with established RA, slightly more frequent in patients that first tapered csDMARDs. Because of similar effects from a clinical viewpoint, financial arguments may influence the decision to taper TNF-inhibitors first.

Click here to read the full article @ Annals of the rheumatic diseases
Go to the profile of ClinOwl


The wider, wiser view for healthcare professionals. ClinOwl signposts the latest clinical content from over 100 leading medical journals.
2212 Contributions
0 Following

No comments yet.