Home Life Style Abatacept and adalimumab have the same efficacy and safety in rheumatoid arthritis

Abatacept and adalimumab have the same efficacy and safety in rheumatoid arthritis

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Abatacept and adalimumab have the same efficacy and safety in rheumatoid arthritis

According to recent studies presented at EULAR 2013, the Annual Congress of the European League against Rheumatism, abatacept (ABA) has the same efficacy and safety as adalimumab (ADA). Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by joint deformity, but besides joints there can be affected other organs such as the skin, lungs, eyes and others. Statistics show that 1 in 100 people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, women are affected more frequently than men, and the disease usually occurs at forty or fifty years.

Abatacept, which is part of biological DMARDs (Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs), reduces co-stimulation of T cells and thus decreases inflammation, pain and damage progression in rheumatoid arthritis. Adalimumab is a TNF inhibitor but the effect is similar because it decreases inflammation, pain and disease progression.

rheumatoid arthritis


The study that showed similarity between ADA and ABA is called AMPLE and was a phase IIIb clinical trial that included 646 biologic-naïve patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were divided to receive either the ADA or ABA (with a dose of methotrexate). Lead author of the study Dr. Michael Schiff, University of Colorado, USA, said that there were not controlled, randomized trials comparing the efficacy of two different biological DMARD therapy using biological treatment with methotrexate, which is the most prescribed drug in rheumatoid arthritis. He said that the study showed that the two drugs had the same efficacy and safety in terms of clinical, radiographic and functional outcomes.

“This robust data set demonstrates that subcutaneous abatacept and adalimumab are equally efficacious in clinical, functional and radiographic outcomes”, Dr. Schiff said. He added that the study is a step forward for patients because it shows that other treatment is as effective as adalimumab.

Patients with active RA and an inadequate response to methotrexate ABA received 125 mg weekly or 40 mg of ADA twice a week, along with a dose of methotrexate. Clinical effectiveness and radiographic progression inhibition of the disease were comparable between the two groups. It should be noted that the radiological aspect of the disease was evaluated with a score called the van der Heijde modified Total Sharp Score (mTSS).

Rates of adverse events and serious adverse events were similar in both groups, though it must be said that several side effects were observed in the group receiving abatacept. It was also found that there were fewer discontinuations of treatment due to adverse reactions in the ABA group than in the ADA group.