Methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis. a five-year prospective multicenter study
Article first published online: 9 DEC 2005
Copyright © 1994 American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis & Rheumatism
Volume 37, Issue 10, pages 1492–1498, October 1994
How to Cite
Weinblatt, M. E., Kaplan, H., Germain, B. F., Block, S., Solomon, S. D., Merriman, R. C., Wolfe, F., Wall, B., Anderson, L., Gall, E., Torretti, D. and Weissman, B. (1994), Methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis. a five-year prospective multicenter study. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 37: 1492–1498. doi: 10.1002/art.1780371013
- Issue published online: 9 DEC 2005
- Article first published online: 9 DEC 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 MAY 1994
- Manuscript Received: 30 NOV 1993
- Lederle Laboratories
- Pearl River
- New York
Objective. To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of oral methotrexate (MTX) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a long-term prospective trial.
Methods. One hundred twenty-three patients with RA who completed a 9-month multicenter randomized trial comparing MTX and auranofin enrolled in this 5-year prospective study of MTX.
Results. Significant (P = 0.0001) improvement compared with baseline was noted in all clinical disease variables, functional status, and the Westergren erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). “Marked improvement” occurred in 87 (71%) and 85 (69%) of the patients, respectively, in the joint pain/tenderness index and the joint swelling index at the last evaluable visit. Forty-four patients (36%) withdrew during the study. Eight (7%) withdrew due to lack of efficacy, and 8 (7%) due to adverse experiences, including 1 patient with cirrhosis. At 5 years, 64% of patients were still taking MTX and completed the study.
Conclusion. This large prospective study of long-term MTX treatment demonstrates sustained clinical response and improvement in the Westergren ESR and functional assessment scores, with an acceptable toxicity profile.