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Methotrexate therapy of rheumatoid arthritis. An open observation study of 110 patients with median length of treatment of 17.8 month



Methotrexate therapy of rheumatoid arthritis. An open observation study of 110 patients with median length of treatment of 17.8 month



Ugeskrift for Laeger 155(30): 2323-2327



Effects and side-effects of treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis with methotrexate given as weekly pulse-treatment are examined in an open observation study. One hundred and ten consecutive patients with active rheumatoid arthritis entered the study. Six criteria of remission were registered as effect variables. Median length of treatment at the time of investigation was 17.8 months. At this point, 34 patients were in complete remission, with a median effect score of five point five out of six possible points. Twenty-nine were in partial remission and 47 (42.7%) had not improved. The median effect score for all patients was three point 6 (95% confidence limits (2-4). Methotrexate treatment was stopped in 24 patients, in 15 of these because of a combination of side-effects and lack of therapeutic response. Prednisone treatment could be discontinued in 20 out of 57 patients during the course of methotrexate treatment. Side-effects were registered in 67 cases (62.7%), and led to treatment being discontinued in 21 cases. Nearly half the side-effects consisted of dyspepsia and rises in amino-transferase levels (48 of 67 patients). Consistently raised amino-transferase levels were found in five cases, all returned to normal after methotrexate was stopped. Serious side-effect were registered in four cases, consisting of two cases of short-term pancytopenia following overdosage and two cases of severe hypoxia following methotrexate-induced alveolitis.

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Accession: 046676758

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PMID: 8346572


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