, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 223-224
Date: 05 Dec 2013

Is it safe to withdraw etanercept in established rheumatoid arthritis after low disease activity achievement?

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an immunologically driven chronic condition characterized not only by persistent joint inflammation (synovitis) but also by systemic inflammation [1].

Uncontrolled active RA produces disability and a reduction of the health-related quality of life that result in loss of work and high medical and social costs [2]. The impact of RA on patients and society justifies treatment with biologics [2], expensive drugs that are not free from complications and adverse events, even severe [3].

The target of treatment in RA is achievement of low disease activity or remission [4]. It is yet to be clarified whether low disease activity or remission can be also sustained, not only by maintaining the recommended therapy but also by reducing or discontinuing the biologic treatment. In fact, a reduction or withdrawal of such treatment could imply a great amount of financial saving for the National Health Systems.

Although there are many observational studies regarding w ...