Dose-loading with hydroxychloroquine improves the rate of response in early, active rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized, double-blind six-week trial with eighteen-week extension.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the usefulness of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) dose-loading to increase the percentage of responders or rate of response in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: Two hundred twelve patients with early RA (mean duration 1.5 years) were enrolled in a 24-week trial. Patients were stabilized with 1,000 mg naproxen/day and then began a 6-week, double-blind trial comparing treatment with HCQ at 400 mg/day (n = 71), 800 mg/day (n = 71), and 1,200 mg/day (n = 66), followed by 18 weeks of open-label HCQ treatment at 400 mg/day. RESULTS: All patients had mild, active disease at the time of initiation of HCQ treatment (31-43% rheumatoid factor positive; no previous disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs; mean swollen joint count 8.6-10.4). Based on the Paulus criteria, response during the 6-week double-blind portion of the study was 47.97%, 57.7%, and 63.6% in the 400 mg/day, 800 mg/day, and 1,200 mg/day groups, respectively (P = 0.052). Discontinuations for adverse events were dose related (3 in the 400 mg/day group, 5 in the 800 mg/day group, 6 in the 1,200 mg/day group). Most involved the gastrointestinal (GI) system, with the background naproxen treatment possibly contributing. Ocular abnormalities occurred in 17 of 212 patients (8%) but were not dose related. CONCLUSION: Dose-loading with HCQ increased the degree of response at 6 weeks in this group of patients with early, predominantly seronegative RA. Adverse GI events were dose related, while adverse ocular events were not. (+info)
Hydroxychloroquine treatment for primary Sjogren's syndrome: its effect on salivary and serum inflammatory markers.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of hydroxychloroquine treatment on interleukin 6 (IL6), hyaluronic acid (HA), and soluble interleukin 2 receptor (sIL2R) concentrations in the saliva and serum of patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome (SS). METHODS: Fourteen SS patients treated with hydroxychloroquine 200 mg/day for 12 months were investigated in an open prospective study. Clinical parameters of efficacy and routine biochemical and haematological data to assess drug safety and tolerability were determined every three months. Salivary and serum IL6, sIL2R, and HA values were determined at study entry, 6 and 12 months, using ELISA and radiometric assays. RESULTS: After hydroxychloroquine treatment, salivary IL6 concentrations decreased from 13.2 (1.2) to 7.3 (1.1) pg/ml (mean (SEM)) (p < 0.0001). Similarly, salivary HA concentrations were also reduced from 577.8 (120) to 200 (34) ng/ml (mean (SEM) (p < 0.003). Serum IL6 concentrations decreased from 5.4 (0.6) to 2.9 (0.2) pg/ml (mean (SEM) (p < 0.001), while serum HA concentrations remained unchanged. No change has been detected in salivary or serum sIL2R concentrations after 12 months of treatment with hydroxychloroquine. Treatment also resulted in significant reduction in erythrocyte sedimentation rate, serum gamma globulin, and C reactive protein values while only partial clinical improvement was noted in some patients. A more pronounced decrease of salivary IL6 and HA levels was found in the two patients in whom a reduction in the swelling of the parotid gland was noted. CONCLUSION: In this open label study of hydroxychloroquine treatment for SS a significant reduction of some salivary inflammatory markers was seen at the end of 12 months. Although during the treatment period only a partial clinical effect could be noted, the findings suggest that a double blind controlled study of hydroxychloroquine in SS is indicated. (+info)
Primaquine as prophylaxis for malaria for nonimmune travelers: A comparison with mefloquine and doxycycline.
Malaria prophylaxis for travelers is a controversial issue. The commonly used regimens are associated with side effects, low compliance, or low efficacy, which have raised concern regarding their use. In addition, they are inefficient against the tissue stage of the parasite and thus do not prevent relapses of Plasmodium vivax infection. Primaquine is aimed at the pre-erythrocytic stage and thus may be a potential causal-prophylactic treatment that can abolish the need for long postexposure therapy. During 1995-1998, we followed retrospectively travelers who joined rafting trips to an area in Ethiopia where both P. vivax and Plasmodium falciparum are hyperendemic. Of the 106 travelers who received primaquine, 5.7% developed malaria; of the 19 doxycycline recipients, 53% developed malaria; and of the 25 mefloquine recipients, 52% developed P. vivax malaria (>/=3 months after return from the area of endemicity). Primaquine was well tolerated, and only 1 withdrawal from therapy (due to gastrointestinal symptoms) was reported. Primaquine was shown to be a safe and effective prophylactic drug against both P. falciparum malaria and P. vivax malaria in travelers. (+info)
Soluble CD30 in early rheumatoid arthritis as a predictor of good response to second-line therapy.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether serum levels of the soluble form of CD30 (sCD30) correlate with disease activity in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and may have prognostic value in predicting the response to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). METHODS: The levels of sCD30 and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured in the serum of 14 untreated subjects with early RA, before and during treatment with hydroxychloroquine, for a follow-up period of 8 months. At the end of the study, patients were also evaluated for their response to DMARDs. RESULTS: An inverse correlation between sCD30 and CRP serum values was demonstrated at baseline, but not during the follow-up. Patients who responded to DMARD therapy had higher sCD30 basal levels than non-responders. CONCLUSIONS: The evaluation of sCD30 serum levels in early RA may reflect the attempt by CD30+ T cells to downmodulate inflammation and may be a useful marker to predict a good response to DMARDs. (+info)
Antimalarial drugs for rheumatoid disease during pregnancy.
QUESTION: One of my patients, who has rheumatoid arthritis, has just found out she is pregnant. She is being treated with hydroxychloroquine. I could not find anything about the safety of this drug during pregnancy. ANSWER: Most of the literature on this drug relates to prophylaxis for malaria. Much lower doses than those used for rheumatic diseases are given with no adverse fetal effects. Several studies on use of the drug for rheumatic diseases during pregnancy also failed to show adverse fetal effects, although, in most cases, only first-trimester exposure was reported. (+info)
Hydroxychloroquine inhibits calcium signals in T cells: a new mechanism to explain its immunomodulatory properties.
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a lysosomotropic amine, is an immunosuppressive agent presently being evaluated in bone marrow transplant patients to treat graft-versus-host disease. While its immunosuppressive properties have been attributed primarily to its ability to interfere with antigen processing, recent reports demonstrate HCQ also blocks T-cell activation in vitro. To more precisely define the T-cell inhibitory effects of HCQ, the authors evaluated T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) signaling events in a T-cell line pretreated with HCQ. In a concentration-dependent manner, HCQ inhibited anti-TCR-induced up-regulation of CD69 expression, a distal TCR signaling event. Proximal TCR signals, including inductive protein tyrosine phosphorylation, tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C gamma1, and total inositol phosphate production, were unaffected by HCQ. Strikingly, anti-TCR-crosslinking-induced calcium mobilization was significantly inhibited by HCQ, particularly at the highest concentrations tested (100 micromol/L) in both T-cell lines and primary T cells. HCQ, in a dose-dependent fashion, also reduced a B-cell antigen receptor calcium signal, indicating this effect may be a general property of HCQ. Inhibition of the calcium signal correlated directly with a reduction in the size of thapsigargin-sensitive intracellular calcium stores in HCQ-treated cells. Together, these findings suggest that disruption of TCR-crosslinking-dependent calcium signaling provides an additional mechanism to explain the immunomodulatory properties of HCQ. (+info)
Aggressive treatment in early rheumatoid arthritis: a randomised controlled trial. On behalf of the Rheumatic Research Foundation Utrecht, The Netherlands.
OBJECTIVES: To compare three therapeutic strategies using slow acting antirheumatic drugs (SAARDs) in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), for their disease modifying properties, toxicity, and lag time until treatment effect. METHODS: Patients with recent onset RA from six hospitals were randomly assigned to immediate initiation of one of three treatment strategies: (I) a "mild SAARD with a long lag time" (hydroxychloroquine, if necessary replaced by auranofin); (II) a "potent SAARD with a long lag time" (intramuscular gold, if necessary replaced by D-penicillamine); (III) a "potent SAARD with a short lag time" (methotrexate, if necessary replaced by sulfasalazine). Comparisons included two years of follow up. RESULTS: All SAARD strategies reduced mean disease activity. A greater percentage of patients improved clinically with strategies II and III than with strategy I: percentages of patients improved on joint score with strategies II and III (79% and 82%, respectively), which was statistically different from strategy I (66%). The same was true for remission percentages: 31% and 24% v 16%, respectively). Longitudinal analysis showed significantly less disability with strategy III, and a lower erythrocyte sedimentation rate with strategy II than with strategy I. In addition, radiological damage after one and two years, was significantly lower in strategies II and III (at two years median scores were 11 and 10 v 14 in strategy I, p<0.05). Toxicity was increased in strategy II compared with the other strategies. CONCLUSION: Strategy III, comprising methotrexate or sulfasalazine, produced the best results weighing effectiveness and toxicity. Strategy I (hydroxychloroquine or auranofin) was slightly less effective, and strategy II (intramuscular gold or D-penicillamine) was associated with increased toxicity. (+info)
Influence of hydroxychloroquine on the bioavailability of oral metoprolol.
AIMS: Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is used widely in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Since there is great interindividual variability in the pharmacokinetics of HCQ and chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of CYP2D6-catalysed pathways in vitro, we wished to study the interaction of HCQ with CYP2D6-mediated metabolism of other drugs in vivo. METHODS: Metoprolol and dextromethorphan (DM) were selected as probe drugs because they are well-studied and widely used test substrates of CYP2D6. In this randomized, double-blind crossover study, seven healthy volunteers with extensive metabolizer phenotype for CYP2D6 ingested either 400 mg hydroxychloroquine or placebo daily for 8 days after which single oral dose pharmacokinetics of metoprolol were investigated. Dextromethorphan metabolic ratio (DM-MR) was also determined at baseline and after the ingestion of HCQ or placebo. RESULTS: Concomitant administration of HCQ increased the bioavailability of metoprolol, as indicated by significant increases in the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (65 +/- 4.6%) and maximal plasma concentrations (72 +/- 6.9%) of metoprolol. While the DM-MR values were not significantly changed, the phenotypic classification of one individual, who was heterozygous for a mutant CYP2D6 allele, was converted to a poor metabolizer by HCQ administration. CONCLUSIONS: HCQ inhibits metoprolol metabolism most probably by inhibiting its biotransformation by CYP2D6. The inhibitory effect of HCQ on dextromethorphan metabolism was not apparent when DM-MR was used as an indicator, except in an individual with limited CYP2D6 capacity. (+info)