Low-dose methotrexate compared with auranofin in adult rheumatoid arthritis. A thirty-six-week, double-blind trial

Arthritis Rheum. 1990 Mar;33(3):330-8. doi: 10.1002/art.1780330305.


Weekly treatment with low-dose oral methotrexate (MTX) was compared with daily auranofin (AUR) treatment in a 36-week double-blind, randomized, multicenter study of 281 patients with active, adult-onset rheumatoid arthritis. Both treatment groups showed significant improvement by the usual measures of clinical efficacy. The response with MTX occurred earlier and was consistently greater than that with AUR. An intent-to-treat analysis showed significantly greater improvement (P less than 0.01) with MTX for painful and swollen joint counts and physician and patient global assessments of disease activity. Adverse reactions were reported more frequently in the AUR group, and more AUR-treated patients were withdrawn from the study because of toxicity. MTX was thus more effective and better tolerated than AUR in this study.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Auranofin / administration & dosage
  • Auranofin / adverse effects
  • Auranofin / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gold / adverse effects
  • Gold / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage*
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Auranofin
  • Gold
  • Methotrexate