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N Engl J Med. 1986 May 15;314(20):1269-76.

Penicillamine and hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Results of the U.S.A.-U.S.S.R. double-blind placebo-controlled trial.


One hundred sixty-two children with severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis were entered in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 12-month clinical trial designed to establish the efficacy and safety of two slower-acting antirheumatic drugs, penicillamine and hydroxychloroquine. The study was a cooperative effort of the United States and the Soviet Union. One group of subjects received 10 mg of penicillamine per kilogram of body weight per day, another group received 6 mg of hydroxychloroquine per kilogram daily, and a third group received placebo. All three groups were allowed a single concurrent nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug, but no other antirheumatic medications, including corticosteroids. All three groups had dramatic improvement in many of the clinical and laboratory outcome variables after one year of study. There were no significant differences in efficacy between the penicillamine and placebo groups. Pain on movement was the only index of articular disease that was alleviated more by hydroxychloroquine than by placebo. Serious adverse drug reactions attributable to the active agents were rare. We were unable to demonstrate that, in the presence of a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug, either penicillamine or hydroxychloroquine is superior to placebo in the treatment of children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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