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Clinical Trial
, 39 (12), 2013-20

Comparison of Sulfasalazine and Placebo in the Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis. A Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study

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Clinical Trial

Comparison of Sulfasalazine and Placebo in the Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis. A Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study

D O Clegg et al. Arthritis Rheum.

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether sulfasalazine (SSZ) at a dosage of 2,000 mg/day is effective for the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) resistant to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug therapy.

Methods: Two hundred twenty-one patients with PsA were recruited from 15 clinics, randomized (double-blind) to SSZ or placebo treatment, and followed up for 36 weeks. Treatment response was based on joint pain/ tenderness and swelling scores and physician and patient global assessments.

Results: Longitudinal analysis revealed a trend favoring SSZ treatment (P = 0.13). At the end of treatment, response rates were 57.8% for SSZ compared with 44.6% for placebo (P = 0.05). The Westergren erythrocyte sedimentation rate declined more in the PsA patients taking SSZ than in those taking placebo (P < 0.0001). Adverse reactions were fewer than expected and were mainly due to nonspecific gastrointestinal complaints, including dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Conclusion: SSZ at a dosage of 2,000 mg/day is well tolerated and may be more effective than placebo in the treatment of patients with PsA.

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