Weekly leflunomide effective for early rheumatoid arthritis

Weekly leflunomide effective for early rheumatoid arthritis

(HealthDay)—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 Aug. 13 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Li-Min Ren, M.D., from the Peking University People's Hospital in China, and colleagues randomly assigned patients with ERA (mild or moderate ) to either the treatment group (leflunomide 50 mg/week [LEF50]) or the control group (leflunomide 10 mg/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 50 mg leflunomide showed similar benefits to a daily dose of 10 mg leflunomide for the treatment of mild-to-moderate early ," the authors write.


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