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Arch Med Res. 2004 Jan-Feb;35(1):36-42.

A randomized, double-blind, multicenter, controlled clinical trial of cyclosporine plus chloroquine vs. cyclosporine plus placebo in early-onset rheumatoid arthritis.

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Departamento de Reumatología, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Médico Nacional La Raza, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), Mexico City, Mexico.



Our objective was to assess the efficacy and safety of cyclosporine-A (CsA) plus chloroquine (Clq) in early-onset rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared to CsA plus placebo.


We conducted a prospective, 12-month follow-up, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of CsA (2.5-5 mg/kg/day[d]) plus Clq (150 mg/d) vs. CsA plus placebo in active RA of <2 years of evolution.


A total of 149 patients were included; 111 patients (74.4%) completed the 12-month follow-up period. Evaluation at 6 and 12 months showed improvement for all clinical disease parameters. In both groups there was a decrease in tender joint count, swollen joint count, pain, assessment of efficacy by both investigator and patient, functional assessment, and morning stiffness, all differences statistically significant. With an intention-to-treat analysis, there was 64% in the CsA plus Clq group (CsA/Clq) and 63% in the CsA plus placebo group (CsA/Plac) at 12 months in the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)-20 criteria of improvement. Response rate for ACR-50 was 48 and 47%, and for ACR-70 it was 29% in both groups; the difference was not statistically significant between study groups. Gastrointestinal complaints were common in both groups. Four patients in CsA/Clq group and five patients in CsA/placebo group increased creatinine levels; two patients in each group discontinued treatment due to this reason.


There was no advantage to adding chloroquine to cyclosporine in patients with RA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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