• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of annrheumdAnnals of the Rheumatic DiseasesCurrent TOCInstructions for authors
Ann Rheum Dis. Sep 2002; 61(9): 793–798.
PMCID: PMC1754224

Etanercept, infliximab, and leflunomide in established rheumatoid arthritis: clinical experience using a structured follow up programme in southern Sweden

Abstract

Objective: To explore the feasibility of prospectively monitoring treatment efficacy and tolerability of infliximab, etanercept, and leflunomide over a two year period in patients with established rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in clinical practice using a structured protocol.

Methods: All patients with RA at seven centres in southern Sweden, for whom at least two disease modifying antirheumatic drugs, including methotrexate, had failed or not been tolerated, who started treatment with either infliximab, etanercept, or leflunomide were included. They were evaluated at predefined times using a standardised protocol including items required for evaluating response to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) or EULAR criteria. All adverse events were recorded using World Health Organisation terminology. Concomitant treatment and survival while receiving a drug were recorded.

Results: During the study 166 patients were treated with etanercept, 135 with infliximab, and 103 with leflunomide. Treatment response as determined by the ACR and EULAR response criteria was similar for the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blockers. The TNF blockers performed significantly better than leflunomide both as determined by the response criteria and by survival on drug analysis. Thus 79% and 75% continued to receive etanercept or infliximab compared with 22% of patients who started leflunomide after 20 months. The spectrum of side effects did not differ from those previously reported in the clinical trials. The initial two year experience of a protocol for postmarketing surveillance of etanercept, infliximab, and leflunomide shows that a structured protocol with central data handling can be used in clinical practice for documenting the performance of newly introduced drugs.

Conclusions: Efficacy data for the TNF blockers comply with results in clinical trials, whereas leflunomide appeared to perform worse than in clinical trials. Prolonged monitoring is required to identify possible rare side effects.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (145K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Maini RN, Breedveld FC, Kalden JR, Smolen JS, Davis D, Macfarlane JD, Antoni C, Leeb B, Elliott MJ, Woody JN, et al. Therapeutic efficacy of multiple intravenous infusions of anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha monoclonal antibody combined with low-dose weekly methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 1998 Sep;41(9):1552–1563. [PubMed]
  • Maini R, St Clair EW, Breedveld F, Furst D, Kalden J, Weisman M, Smolen J, Emery P, Harriman G, Feldmann M, et al. Infliximab (chimeric anti-tumour necrosis factor alpha monoclonal antibody) versus placebo in rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving concomitant methotrexate: a randomised phase III trial. ATTRACT Study Group. Lancet. 1999 Dec 4;354(9194):1932–1939. [PubMed]
  • Lipsky PE, van der Heijde DM, St Clair EW, Furst DE, Breedveld FC, Kalden JR, Smolen JS, Weisman M, Emery P, Feldmann M, et al. Infliximab and methotrexate in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor Trial in Rheumatoid Arthritis with Concomitant Therapy Study Group. N Engl J Med. 2000 Nov 30;343(22):1594–1602. [PubMed]
  • Moreland LW, Baumgartner SW, Schiff MH, Tindall EA, Fleischmann RM, Weaver AL, Ettlinger RE, Cohen S, Koopman WJ, Mohler K, et al. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with a recombinant human tumor necrosis factor receptor (p75)-Fc fusion protein. N Engl J Med. 1997 Jul 17;337(3):141–147. [PubMed]
  • Moreland LW, Schiff MH, Baumgartner SW, Tindall EA, Fleischmann RM, Bulpitt KJ, Weaver AL, Keystone EC, Furst DE, Mease PJ, et al. Etanercept therapy in rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 1999 Mar 16;130(6):478–486. [PubMed]
  • Weinblatt ME, Kremer JM, Bankhurst AD, Bulpitt KJ, Fleischmann RM, Fox RI, Jackson CG, Lange M, Burge DJ. A trial of etanercept, a recombinant tumor necrosis factor receptor:Fc fusion protein, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis receiving methotrexate. N Engl J Med. 1999 Jan 28;340(4):253–259. [PubMed]
  • Bathon JM, Martin RW, Fleischmann RM, Tesser JR, Schiff MH, Keystone EC, Genovese MC, Wasko MC, Moreland LW, Weaver AL, et al. A comparison of etanercept and methotrexate in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis. N Engl J Med. 2000 Nov 30;343(22):1586–1593. [PubMed]
  • Smolen JS, Kalden JR, Scott DL, Rozman B, Kvien TK, Larsen A, Loew-Friedrich I, Oed C, Rosenburg R. Efficacy and safety of leflunomide compared with placebo and sulphasalazine in active rheumatoid arthritis: a double-blind, randomised, multicentre trial. European Leflunomide Study Group. Lancet. 1999 Jan 23;353(9149):259–266. [PubMed]
  • Strand V, Cohen S, Schiff M, Weaver A, Fleischmann R, Cannon G, Fox R, Moreland L, Olsen N, Furst D, et al. Treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis with leflunomide compared with placebo and methotrexate. Leflunomide Rheumatoid Arthritis Investigators Group. Arch Intern Med. 1999 Nov 22;159(21):2542–2550. [PubMed]
  • Emery P, Breedveld FC, Lemmel EM, Kaltwasser JP, Dawes PT, Gömör B, Van Den Bosch F, Nordström D, Bjorneboe O, Dahl R, et al. A comparison of the efficacy and safety of leflunomide and methotrexate for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2000 Jun;39(6):655–665. [PubMed]
  • Pincus T, Sokka T. How can the risk of long-term consequences of rheumatoid arthritis be reduced? Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2001 Mar;15(1):139–170. [PubMed]
  • Arnett FC, Edworthy SM, Bloch DA, McShane DJ, Fries JF, Cooper NS, Healey LA, Kaplan SR, Liang MH, Luthra HS, et al. The American Rheumatism Association 1987 revised criteria for the classification of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 1988 Mar;31(3):315–324. [PubMed]
  • Ekdahl C, Eberhardt K, Andersson SI, Svensson B. Assessing disability in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Use of a Swedish version of the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire. Scand J Rheumatol. 1988;17(4):263–271. [PubMed]
  • Geborek P, Saxne T. Clinical protocol for monitoring of targeted therapies in rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2000 Oct;39(10):1159–1161. [PubMed]
  • Felson DT, Anderson JJ, Boers M, Bombardier C, Furst D, Goldsmith C, Katz LM, Lightfoot R, Jr, Paulus H, Strand V, et al. American College of Rheumatology. Preliminary definition of improvement in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 1995 Jun;38(6):727–735. [PubMed]
  • Cohen S, Cannon GW, Schiff M, Weaver A, Fox R, Olsen N, Furst D, Sharp J, Moreland L, Caldwell J, et al. Two-year, blinded, randomized, controlled trial of treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis with leflunomide compared with methotrexate. Utilization of Leflunomide in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis Trial Investigator Group. Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Sep;44(9):1984–1992. [PubMed]
  • Moreland LW, Cohen SB, Baumgartner SW, Tindall EA, Bulpitt K, Martin R, Weinblatt M, Taborn J, Weaver A, Burge DJ, et al. Long-term safety and efficacy of etanercept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2001 Jun;28(6):1238–1244. [PubMed]

Figures and Tables

Figure 1
Percentage of patients fulfilling the ACR20, ACR50, and ACR70 response at follow up times for (A) etanercept, (B) infliximab, and (C) leflunomide. For each follow up time and treatment regimen all the ACR70 are included in the ACR50, which in turn are ...
Figure 2
Tenth, 25th, median, 75th, and 90th centiles of the prescribed weekly prednisolone dosage at follow up times for (A) etanercept, (B) infliximab, and (C) leflunomide. *p<0.05, **p<0.01, ***p<0.001, NS, not significant compared ...
Figure 3
Survival while continuing to receive etanercept, infliximab, or leflunomide. For statistical comparison between the treatment regimens see "Results".

Articles from Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • Compound
    Compound
    PubChem Compound links
  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...