(HealthDay News) — A higher, weekly dose of leflunomide shows similar benefits to a daily dose for the treatment of mild-to-moderate early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA), according to a study published online August 13 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.
Li-Min Ren, MD, from the Peking University People’s Hospital in China, and colleagues randomly assigned patients with ERA (mild or moderate disease activity) to either the treatment group (leflunomide 50mg/week [LEF50]) or the control group (leflunomide 10mg/day [LEF10]) for 24 weeks.
The researchers found that at week 24, the disease activity scores in 28 joints (DAS28) for both groups were significantly decreased compared with the baseline scores (P<0.01). And, there were no significant differences in DAS28 between the two groups at week 24 (P>0.05). Similarly, there were no significant differences in the European League Against Rheumatism response rates between the two groups at weeks eight, 12, and 24 (P>0.05). No serious adverse events were seen during the study.
“A weekly dose of 50mg leflunomide showed similar benefits to a daily dose of 10mg leflunomide for the treatment of mild-to-moderate early rheumatoid arthritis,” the authors write.