HealthDay News — For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), characteristics associated with successful tapering of biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) include a low serum level of C-reactive protein (CRP), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, being held November 3 to 8 in San Diego.
Takaaki Komiya, MD, from Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, and colleagues enrolled 347 RA patients who were treated with a biologic for longer than 6 months. Patients were categorized as those on stable treatment (255 patients) and those receiving down-titration (DT; 92 patients).
The researchers found that patients who were successfully tapered were younger at disease onset and at the time of initiating biologics. The rates of biologic DMARD-naive patients were significantly different for the stable treatment and DT groups (57.1 versus 76.4%). There were also significant differences between the groups in concomitant oral corticosteroid use (43.1 versus 34.8% in the stable treatment and DT groups, respectively) and CRP level (1.9±2.5 versus 1.1±1.3 respectively). In multivariate analysis, low serum CRP at baseline was associated with successful DT (odds ratio, 0.81).
“The results of this preliminary study may help rheumatologists to differentiate RA patients who would successfully down-titrate biologics,” Komiya said in a statement.