Publications by authors named "Bidyalaxmi Leishangthem"

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Comparison of two dose escalation strategies of methotrexate in active rheumatoid arthritis: a multicentre, parallel group, randomised controlled trial.

Ann Rheum Dis 2021 Jun 10. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.

Objectives: There are no head-to-head trials of different dose escalation strategies of methotrexate (MTX) in RA. We compared the efficacy, safety and tolerability of 'usual' (5 mg every 4 weeks) versus 'fast' (5 mg every 2 weeks) escalation of oral MTX.

Methods: This multicentre, open-label (assessor blinded) RCT included patients 18-55 years of age having active RA with disease duration <5 years, and not on DMARDs. Patients were randomized 1:1 into usual or fast escalation groups, both groups starting MTX at 15 mg/week till a maximum of 25 mg/week. Primary outcome was EULAR good response at 16 weeks, secondary outcomes were ΔDAS28 and adverse effects (AE). Analyses were intention-to-treat.

Results: 178 patients with mean DAS28-CRP of 5.4(1.1) were randomized to usual (n=89) or fast escalation groups (n=89). At 16 weeks, there was no difference in good EULAR response in the usual (28.1%) or fast escalation (22.5%) groups (p=0.8). There was no difference in mean ΔDAS28-CRP at 8 weeks (-0.9, -0.8, p=0.72) or 16 weeks (-1.3, -1.3, p=0.98). Even at 24 weeks (extended follow-up), responses were similar. There were no inter-group differences in ΔHAQ, or MTX-polyglutamates 1-3 levels at 8 or 16 weeks. Gastrointestinal AE were higher in the fast escalation group over initial 8 weeks (27%, 40%, p=0.048), but not over 16 weeks. There was no difference in cytopenias, transaminitis, or drug discontinuation/dose reduction between the groups. No serious AE were seen.

Conclusion: A faster MTX escalation strategy in RA was not more efficacious over 16-24 weeks, and did not significantly increase AE, except higher gastrointestinal AE initially.

Trial Registration Number: CTRI/2018/12/016549.
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June 2021