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Abstract

Objective

To assess the efficacy and tolerability of canakinumab, a fully human anti–interleukin-1β monoclonal antibody, for the treatment of acute gouty arthritis.

Methods

In this 8-week, single-blind, double-dummy, dose-ranging study, patients with acute gouty arthritis whose disease was refractory to or who had contraindications to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and/or colchicine were randomized to receive a single subcutaneous dose of canakinumab (10, 25, 50, 90, or 150 mg; n = 143) or an intramuscular dose of triamcinolone acetonide (40 mg; n = 57). Patients assessed pain using a 100-mm visual analog scale.

Results

Seventy-two hours after treatment, a statistically significant dose response was observed for canakinumab. All canakinumab doses were associated with numerically less pain than triamcinolone acetonide; thus, a dose with equivalent efficacy to triamcinolone acetonide 72 hours after treatment could not be determined. The reduction from baseline in pain intensity with canakinumab 150 mg was greater than with triamcinolone acetonide 24, 48, and 72 hours after treatment (differences of −11.5 mm [P = 0.04], −18.2 mm [P = 0.002], and −19.2 mm [P < 0.001], respectively), and 4, 5, and 7 days after treatment (all P < 0.05). Canakinumab significantly reduced the risk of recurrent flares versus triamcinolone acetonide (P ≤ 0.01 for all doses) (relative risk reduction 94% for canakinumab 150 mg versus triamcinolone acetonide). The overall incidence of adverse events was similar for canakinumab (41%) and triamcinolone acetonide (42%); most were mild or moderate in severity.

Conclusion

Our findings indicate that canakinumab 150 mg provides rapid and sustained pain relief in patients with acute gouty arthritis, and significantly reduces the risk of recurrent flares compared with triamcinolone acetonide.