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Br J Rheumatol. 1988 Oct;27(5):381-4.

The use of a pharmacological indicator to investigate compliance in patients with a poor response to antirheumatic therapy.

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Department of Medicine, University of Leeds.


Twenty-six patients with rheumatoid arthritis which was poorly controlled despite high dose D-penicillamine were studied. Compliance was assessed by standard methods (return tablet count and interview). In addition low-dose phenobarbitone was included in the penicillamine formulation as a pharmacological indicator of compliance. Using these techniques incomplete compliance was apparent in 11 patients (42%). All such patients were identified by the pharmacological marker. Only one admitted poor compliance at interview and only six returned more than a few tablets too many. The reason for the high incidence of poor compliance in this selected group is not apparent but it may represent a significant cause of failure with D-penicillamine therapy. The use of low-dose phenobarbitone may have wider applications in the investigation of patients with other conditions who fail to respond adequately to treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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