Rheumatoid arthritis: previously untreated early disease

Wiranthi M.A. Gunasekera, John R. Kirwan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease, which most often presents as a symmetrical polyarthritis of the hands and feet. Pharmacological treatments include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), glucocorticoids (GCs) and other disease-modifying anti-rheumatoid drugs (DMARDs), which may be synthetic (either conventional [csDMARDs] or targeted [tsDMARDs]) or biological (bDMARDs).

METHODS AND OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic overview, aiming to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of methotrexate in combination with other csDMARDs versus methotrexate monotherapy in people with rheumatoid arthritis who have not previously received any DMARD treatment (first-line treatment)? What are the effects of bDMARDs as monotherapy versus methotrexate or other csDMARDs in people with rheumatoid arthritis who have not previously received any DMARD treatment (first-line treatment)? What are the effects of bDMARDs in combination with methotrexate versus methotrexate monotherapy or other csDMARDs in people with rheumatoid arthritis who have not previously received any DMARD treatment (first-line treatment)? What are the effects of glucocorticoids in combination with methotrexate or with other csDMARDs versus methotrexate or other csDMARDs in people with rheumatoid arthritis who have not previously received any DMARD treatment (first-line treatment)? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library and other important databases up to December 2014 (Clinical Evidence overviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this overview).

RESULTS: At this update, searching of electronic databases retrieved 2058 studies. Of the full articles evaluated, 10 systematic reviews, 22 RCTs, and one follow-up report were added at this update. We performed a GRADE evaluation for 18 PICO combinations.

CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic overview, we categorised the efficacy for 22 comparisons based on information about the effectiveness and safety of bDMARDs (monotherapy or combined with csDMARDs), csDMARDs (monotherapy or combined with other csDMARDs), glucocorticoids combined with methotrexate or other csDMARDs, and methotrexate (monotherapy or combined with other csDMARDs), identifying interventions which were likely or unlikely to be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Clinical Evidence
Volume2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

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