Combination of methotrexate and sulphasalazine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: pharmacokinetic analysis and relationship to clinical response

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1996 Aug;42(2):195-200. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.1996.04038.x.

Abstract

1. The influence of sulphasalazine (SASP) on the pharmacokinetics of low dose methotrexate (MTX) and the relation between pharmacokinetic variables and clinical response was studied in 15 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis despite > 6 months of SASP treatment. 2. SASP was stopped for 2 weeks. Thereafter a single oral dose of 7.5 mg MTX was administered after a standard breakfast. Blood was sampled initially every 30 min, thereafter hourly during 8 h. Urine was sampled every hour. Then 2000 mg SASP daily + 7.5 mg MTX weekly was given. After 4 weeks the same procedure was repeated supplemented with concomitant administration of 1000 mg SASP. Clinical measurements included Ritchie articular index, number of swollen joints, ESR and the disease activity score. Pharmacokinetic analysis was performed using a two-compartment model with first order absorption and lag time. Results are given as mean (s.d.). Paired t-test or signed rank test were applied in the statistical analysis. 3. Pharmacokinetics of MTX without vs with SASP, means +/- s.d. were follows: AUC: 673 +/- 179 vs 628 +/- 210 (95% confidence interval [CI] of the difference was -71 to 159) ng ml-1, MRT: 5.2 +/- 1.3 vs 5.2 +/- 1.1 (95% CI -0.4 to 0.4) h, t1/2,z: 4.3 +/- 1.1 vs 4.2 +/- 1.1 (95% CI -0.3 to 0.5) h, V/F: 59.3 +/- 29.3 vs 65.5 +/- 25.3 (95% -23.8 to 11.4) 1, CL/F: 12.3 +/- 5.0 vs 13.5 +/- 4.8 (95% CI -4.5 to 2.3) 1 h-1. CLR/F: 6.2 +/- 1.3 vs 6.3 +/- 2.1 (95% CI -1.3 to 1.1) l h-1. All P values were > or = 0.3. 4. A weak correlation existed between the change of ESR and the MRT, the t1/2,z and the V/F (Spearman correlation coefficients of 0.43, 0.50 and 0.50 respectively, 0.05 < P < 0.1). 5. There is no significant influence of chronic SASP administration on the pharmacokinetics of MTX or vice versa. Of the clinical variables, only the ESR correlated consistently with some pharmacokinetic variables on MTX.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antirheumatic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Biological Availability
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Methotrexate / pharmacokinetics*
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sulfasalazine / blood
  • Sulfasalazine / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Methotrexate