To evaluate the efficacy and safety of infliximab (INF) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in real-life practice.
Material and methods
We retrospectively studied the results of treatment with INF and metothrexate 25 mg weekly in 23 patients with definite RA who did not respond to previous therapy with DMARDs. The efficacy of INF was evaluated using DAS28, swollen and tender joints counts, ESR, C-reactive protein and rheumatoid factor levels.
Treatment with INF resulted in a significant decrease of DAS28, swollen and tender joints counts and laboratory markers of inflammation. At 48 weeks, remission and low disease activity were achieved respectively in 2 (9.1%) and 6 (27.3%) of 22 patients who continued treatment with INF. The changes of DAS28 were comparable in patients with early and long-standing RA. However, patients with early RA have achieved a more significant decrease in DAS28. One patient discontinued treatment after the first infusion due to deep vein thrombosis. In the other patients, INF was well-tolerated.
The results of the study suggest that INF in combination with metothrexate is effective and safe in patients with moderately severe to severe RA in real-life practice