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Joint Bone Spine. 2007 Jan;74(1):56-9. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

Long-term results of infliximab therapy in rheumatoid arthritis: experience acquired by the North-Pas-de-Calais hospital network.

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Rheumatology Department, Roger Salengro Teaching Hospital, Lille University Hospitals, 59037 Lille Cedex, France.



Infliximab is effective in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Add-on infliximab therapy in patients on methotrexate results in a rapid gain in effectiveness, which lasts at least 1 year. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and continuation rate of infliximab in patients with RA after the first year of treatment.


The first 50 patients with RA who were given infliximab in the North-Pas-de-Calais region of France were included in a multicenter open-label study. The patients had severe RA or failed to respond to conventional medications. Infliximab was given in a dosage of 3 mg/kg every 8 weeks in combination with methotrexate. Effectiveness was evaluated using the DAS28-3 score and EULAR response criteria. The dates and reasons of infliximab discontinuations were recorded.


The 2-year infliximab continuation rate was 70%. Serious adverse events requiring infliximab discontinuation occurred in 7 patients. Mean DAS28-3 scores in the 35 patients who took infliximab for at least 2 years were 6.42 at baseline, 4.33 after 30 weeks, 4.31 after 54 weeks, and 3.86 after 102 weeks. According to EULAR criteria after 102 weeks, there were 12 good responders, 18 moderate responders, and 5 nonresponders.


Experience acquired in the North-Pas-de-Calais district of France suggests that infliximab is continued for more than 2 years in more than two-thirds of patients and remains effective over this period.

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