provides relief in as quickly as 48 hours for patients with
rheumatoid arthritis, and also could substantially reduce
treatment time for some patients, according to results of
a study appearing in the Journal of Rheumatology.
findings are encouraging because they suggest that patients
may improve rapidly in response to Remicade," said Dr.
William J. Shergy, the principal investigator.
addition, the possibility of being able to offer a one-hour
Remicade infusion to patients who tolerated their initial
two-hour treatments may (also reduce) infusion time for some
patients to as little as six hours a year."
open-label study, researchers evaluated 553 patients with
active rheumatoid arthritis at 79 centers across the United
States, where they received Remicade (3 mg) over a 14-week
period. All patients continued receiving stable doses of methotrexate,
sites, patients who tolerated the first four infusions were
eligible to receive two additional infusions at twice the
usual rate, allowing researchers to evaluate the safety of
reducing infusion time from two hours -- the current recommended
infusion time -- to one hour.
infusions were delivered over a two-hour period, with all
follow-up assessments conducted after 48 hours, and weeks
one, two, six, 14 and 16.
hours after the first treatment, patients achieved a 34 percent
improvement in morning stiffness, a 30 percent improvement
in pain, a 30 percent improvement in physician's assessment
scores, and 25 percent improvement in patient assessment scores.
16th week, patients -- regardless of infusion time -- experienced
a 52 to 63 percent overall improvement.
of April 14, 2002