medwireNews: Baricitinib treatment is associated with greater improvements in patient-reported outcomes (PROs) than methotrexate monotherapy, suggests an analysis of the RA-BEGIN trial.
“This may be of importance to physicians and their patients for whom use of [methotrexate] is not desirable, and adds to previously published data showing that baricitinib can be an effective agent in the treatment of RA,” write the study authors in Arthritis Research & Therapy.
Michael Schiff (University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, USA) and team found that the 159 DMARD-naïve patients who received baricitinib monotherapy and the 215 who received baricitinib plus methotrexate in RA-BEGIN reported significantly greater improvements in “the majority of the pre-specified PRO measures” than the 210 patients receiving methotrexate alone.
For example, Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index scores improved by least-squares mean values of 1.04, 1.03, and 0.74 points at week 24 in the baricitinib monotherapy, combination therapy, and methotrexate monotherapy groups, respectively, with corresponding improvements of 0.99, 1.06, and 0.71 points at week 52.
Baricitinib-treated patients also experienced significant improvements in measures of health-related quality of life, pain, fatigue, and tiredness.
Moreover, the PRO improvements were comparable for the baricitinib arms, leading the researchers to conclude that the Janus kinase inhibitor can be used alone or alongside methotrexate.
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