Drug Adherence Falters in RA Patients

Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) don't take their oral medications as prescribed, which can have clinical consequences, researchers found.

Adherence to the prescribed regimen for the most common disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD), methotrexate, was only 63% over 2 years, and just 21% of patients took their DMARDs correctly at least 80% of the time, according to Maria E. Suarez-Almazor, MD, PhD, and colleagues from the University of Texas in Houston.

Moreover, adherence to the prescribed regimen correlated significantly with the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28), with adherent patients having lower scores (r = -0.26, P=0.01), the researchers reported in the June Arthritis & Rheumatism.

"Over the last decade, great advances have been made in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with the development of new biologic therapies. Despite these advances, oral disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, most commonly methotrexate, remain the cornerstone of therapy in RA and are invariably used as initial therapy," they observed.

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Source: Med Page Today