Stockholm, Sweden—Could lower doses of rituximab (RTX) have essentially equivalent effects in rheumatoid arthritis patients? While the approved dose of RTX is 1000 mg x 2, some recent research has suggested similar clinical efficacy with 500 mg x 2. A study published recently in Arthritis Research & Therapy compared the effectiveness of the regular and low doses given as first treatment course. The Karolinska Institute–led study used data on 2,873 patients from 12 European registries participating in the CERERRA collaboration (The European Collaborative Registries for the Evaluation of Rituximab in Rheumatoid Arthritis). Patients treated with 500 mg x 2 were significantly older, had longer disease duration, higher number of prior DMARDs but lower number of prior biologics, and lower baseline DAS28 than those treated with the higher dosage. Treatment effectiveness was assessed by DAS28 reductions and EULAR responses after 6 months, and both dosages were found to lead to significant clinical improvements.
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