Statins do not influence long-term rituximab clinical efficiency in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:689426. doi: 10.1155/2014/689426. Epub 2014 Jan 8.


Objective: This longitudinal study aims to determine if statins inhibit the response to rituximab in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.

Methods: 41 patients initiating rituximab were included; 17 patients were exposed to the combination of statins and rituximab. The total cholesterol, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were assessed. The clinical response was evaluated using Disease Activity Score (DAS28) and European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) response at 6 and 18 months.

Results: A tendency of increasing in DAS28 was observed in statin-exposed group but the correlation was very weak (at 18 months: r = 0.013, P = 0.952). The statin-exposed status was negatively and very weakly correlated with EULAR response at 6 months (r = -0.073, P = 0.661) and 18 months (r = -0.197, P = 0.244). There was a negative correlation between statin-exposed status and inflammatory markers values (ESR and CRP); however, the correlation was very weak. The use of statin did not influence the cardiovascular risk measured by modified Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (mSCORE).

Conclusions: Long-term significant inhibitory effects of statins on rituximab treatment in RA have not been proved using clinical response scores or biologic markers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived / therapeutic use*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rituximab
  • Romania / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Rituximab