Objective: To define the safety and efficacy of TNF inhibitors (TNFi) in RA patients with comorbidities.
Methods: A National Consensus Conference adopted a five-step process to better address the place of TNFi in the treatment of RA. Here we report the work focused on the influence of comorbidities on TNFi efficacy and the effect of TNFi on comorbidities using a Population Intervention Comparison Outcome-based strategy from 8 April 2013 to 15 January 2016.
Results: A total of 4453 hits were analysed, of which 10 were eligible for full review. Data show that the presence of comorbidities influences the treatment strategy and several clinical outcomes. The risk of solid cancer is similar in RA patients treated with TNFi or with conventional synthetic DMARDs, and the risk of recurrent breast cancer is not higher in RA patients treated with TNFi. The risk of developing serious infections is higher in RA patients receiving TNFi than conventional synthetic DMARDs. Patients with previous serious infections before starting TNFi are not at increased risk of subsequent serious infection. The hazard rate of hospitalization due to infections is not different among patients remaining on the same TNFi, or switching to a different TNFi or to an agent with another mechanism of action. Longer exposure to TNFi is associated with a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events.
Conclusion: Comorbidities affect RA treatment strategies and the efficacy of TNFi. TNFi treatment may decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases and their use in patients with previous infection is not associated with a higher risk of recurrences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)