Use of biological therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the Republic of Kazakhstan

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Abstract

Aim. To evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of infliximab (IFM) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Subjects and methods. Twelve inpatients (10 women and 2 men) aged 23 to 65 years with a valid diagnosis of RA, the duration of which was 3 years or more, were retrospectively analyzed. DAS28 for RA corresponded to grades II and III in 4 (33.3%) and 8 (66.7%) patients, respectively. Long before the investigation, all the patients used methotrexate in a weekly dose of 15 mg and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; 6 patients received methipred in a daily dose of 4-8 mg. IFM was administered intravenously dropwise on the basis of 3 mg/kg weight in 250 ml of isotonic sodium hydrochloride solution during 2 hours at 0, 2, and 6 weeks after therapy initiation and then every 8 weeks. Results. During combination therapy after the first IFM infusion, all the 12 patients were noted to have a positive clinical effect as a significant reduction in the number of tender joints and swollen joints, morning stiffness, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, regression of the clinical manifestations of the disease, and its laboratory activity. The therapy was tolerated well by all the patients. According to the EULAR criteria, a good therapeutic effect was observed in 10 (83%) patients and clinical remission was achieved in 2 (17%) patients. According to the ACR criteria, 50 and 70% improvement was seen in 1 (8%) and 9 (75%) patients, respectively. Two (17%) patients achieved remission. Conclusion. Combination therapy with IFM and MT for RA is highly effective, suppresses disease inflammatory activity and joint destruction; furthermore, there may be remission induction.

About the authors

M G Nogaeva

A S Amanzholova

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