Response to sulfasalazine in rheumatoid arthritis: life table analysis of a 5-year followup

J Rheumatol. 1991 Feb;18(2):195-8.


Eighty-six patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with sulfasalazine were followed for 5 years, or until treatment was discontinued. At the end of 5 years, there was a 22% probability of successfully continuing treatment. Most adverse effects developed in the first 3 months of treatment. In 38 patients treatment was discontinued because of inefficacy. In 18 of these, a brief period of improvement was followed by clinical relapse. Twenty were regarded as having no useful response to sulfasalazine. The treatment continuation rate of 22% at 5 years is in marked contrast to the pessimistic longterm evaluations of second line drugs that have recently been reported.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / mortality
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Life Tables
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sulfasalazine / adverse effects
  • Sulfasalazine / standards
  • Sulfasalazine / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors


  • Sulfasalazine