Welcome to Medivizor!

You're browsing our sample library. Feel free to continue browsing. You can also sign up for free to receive medical information specific to your situation.

Posted by on Jul 14, 2018 in Rheumatoid Arthritis | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated adverse events associated with glucocorticoid medications in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The study found that patients with RA have an increased incidence of adverse events associated with the use of glucocorticoids.

Some background

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) involves taking medication to reduce inflammation. One type of drug used to treat RA are glucocorticoids (GCs). These drugs target receptors that are involved in the production of inflammatory proteins. GCs are usually prescribed in combination with other medications called DMARDs (disease-modifying drugs) that target specific inflammatory proteins.

GCs are usually used for a short period when a patient’s symptoms worsen. GCs may be associated with an increase in serious adverse events (SAEs). It is unclear if GCs are a significant risk of SAEs in patients with RA.

Methods & findings

This study investigated the risk associated with GC use in patients with RA. This study included information on almost 68,100 patients with RA or non-RA patients (controls). Using a database, data on medication use, disease history and other important clinical information was retrieved. 

Patients with RA treated with GCs had an increased risk of SAEs including diabetes (33%), osteoporosis (41%), serious infection (28%), and stroke or heart attack (28%) compared to non-RA patients. Patients treated with GCs (both RA and non-RA) had an increased risk of SAEs compared to those that were not treated with GCs. Current use of GCs was associated with an increased risk of bowel rupture, bleeding, diabetes, serious infection, osteoporosis and death.

The bottom line

The authors conclude that patients with RA have an increased incidence of adverse events associated with the use of glucocorticoids.

The fine print

GCs are prescribed when disease activity worsens in RA. As a result it is difficult to determine if the risk of adverse events is directly caused by GCs. An increase in disease severity may also contribute to SAEs.

What’s next?

If you have any concerns regarding the use of glucocorticoids please discuss this with your physician.

Published By :

Arthritis Care & Research

Date :

Jun 01, 2018

Original Title :

Incidence and risk of glucocorticoid-associated adverse effects in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

click here to get personalized updates