Can we reduce the dosage of biologics in spondyloarthritis?

Autoimmun Rev. 2013 May;12(7):691-3. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2012.08.013. Epub 2012 Aug 23.


TNF blockers have revolutionized the management of spondyloarthritis (SpA). To date, four anti-TNFα agents (etanercept, infliximab, adalimumab, golimumab) have been approved for the management of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). The first objective in the management of AS and PsA with TNF inhibitors is to reduce disease activity to clinical remission or low disease activity. After remission has been achieved, this state should be maintained as long as possible. However, the financial burden associated with the cost of anti-TNF agents as well as concerns about their long-term safety suggest reducing the dosage of the drug or discontinuing the therapy in the hopes of drug-free remission. The aim of this review is to examine what has, till now, been published on this topic in axial SpA, which includes AS and non-radiographic axial SpA (nr-axSpA), peripheral SpA and PsA. Discontinuation of therapy in axial SpA is not possible in the majority of patients, while on the contrary, reducing the dosage often is. In some patients with peripheral SpA and PsA it is also possible to discontinue therapy and to achieve drug-free remission.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / economics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antirheumatic Agents / economics
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Spondylarthritis / drug therapy*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / drug therapy
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / therapy


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Biological Products