Combination Therapy with Methotrexate and Chloroquine in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Multicenter Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial

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Ferraz, Marcos Bosi [UNIFESP]
Pinheiro, Geraldo da Rocha Castelar [UNIFESP]
Helfenstein Junior, Milton[UNIFESP]
Albuquerque, E.
Rezende, C.
Roimicher, Luis
Brandao, Leticia de Campos [UNIFESP]
Silva, S. C.
Pinheiro, Geraldo da Rocha Castelar
Atra, Edgard [UNIFESP]
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To compare the efficacy of the combination therapy Methotrexate (MTX) and Chloroquine (CHLO) with MTX and Placebo (PLA) in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.A total of 82 patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), diagnosed according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria, received orally either MTX 7.5 mg/week and CHLO 250 mg/day or MTX 7.5 mg/week and PLA 1 tablet/day. Adverse effects (AE) were monitored monthly and disease activity was assessed at 0, 2, 4 and 6 months.Sixty-eight patients completed the study. All outcome measures improved significantly in both treatment groups. Patients receiving MTX/CHLO ended the study with a significantly lower joint count, greater grip strength and better functional ability the patients in the MTX/PLA group, respectively; 4.5 vs 7.5 (P<0.05), 113.3 vs 89.1 (P<0.05) and 0.636 vs 0.811 (P<0.05). Mild AE were more frequently observed in the MTX/CHLO, 17 events in 15 patients, compared to 9 events in 8 patients in the MTX/PLA group (NS).These data indicate that MTX/CHLO is slightly more efficacious and toxic than is MTX/PLA in the treatment of RA.
Scandinavian Journal Of Rheumatology. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press, v. 23, n. 5, p. 231-236, 1994.