Abstract: Objective: Tofacitinib (TOF) is the first Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor approved for psoriatic arthritis (PsA). It has shown efficacy in patients refractory to anti-tumor necrosis factor-? in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Our aim was to assess efficacy and safety of TOF in clinical practice.
Methods: This was an observational, open-label multicenter study of PsA patients treated with TOF due to inefficacy or adverse events of previous therapies. Outcome variables were efficacy, corticosteroid dose-sparing effect, retention rate, and safety. A comparative study of clinical features between our cohort of patients and those from the OPAL Beyond trial was performed.
Results: There were 87 patients (28 women/59 men), with a mean age of 52.8 ± 11.4 years. All patients were refractory to biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and/or to conventional synthetic DMARDs plus apremilast. TOF was started at 5 mg twice daily after a mean follow-up of 12.3 ± 9.3 years from PsA diagnosis. At first month, Disease Activity Score in 28 joints based on erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28-ESR) decreased from median 4.8 (IQR 4.1-5.4) to 3.7 (IQR 2.8-4.7, P < 0.01), Disease Activity Index for Psoriatic Arthritis from median 28 (IQR 18.4-34.1) to 15.5 (IQR 10.1-25.7, P < 0.01), and C-reactive protein from median 1.9 (IQR 0.3-5.0) to 0.5 (IQR 0.1-2.2) mg/dL (P < 0.01). Also, TOF led to a significant reduction in prednisone dose. Mild adverse effects were reported in 21 patients (24.13%), mainly gastrointestinal symptoms. TOF retention rate at Month 6 was 77% (95% CI 65.2-86.3). Patients in clinical practice were older with longer disease duration and received biologic agents more commonly than those in the OPAL Beyond trial.
Conclusion: Data from clinical practice confirm that TOF seems to be effective, rapid, and relatively safe in refractory PsA despite clinical differences with patients in RCTs.
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