Methotrexate therapy not recommended beyond 6 months after remission: JAMA

December 14, 2015

Analyses indicated relapse within 24 months after the inclusion into the study in 98 of 183 patients (56.7 percent) in group 1 and 94 of 181(55.6 percent) in group 2. The median relapse-free interval after inclusion was 21 months in group 1 and 23 months in group 2. Median follow-up duration after inclusion was 34.2 and 34.3 months in groups 1 and 2, respectively. In the 297 patients who stopped therapy while in remission, 39.6 percent in group 1 and 39.5 percent in group 2 had a flare within 1 year.

"Levels of MRP8/14 during remission were significantly higher in patients who subsequently developed flares compared with patients maintaining stable remission. Low MRP8/14 levels indicated a low risk of flares within the next 3 months following the biomarker test," the authors write.

"These data indicate a need for the stratification of patients with chronic inflammatory diseases to ensure that the intensity of treatment is adjusted to the patients' individual needs."

The researchers add that it cannot be recommended that methotrexate therapy be continued in all patients for longer than 6 months after remission is induced.

SOURCE JAMA