Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 2633–2641 | Cite as

Niclosamide as an adjuvant to etanercept in treatment patients with active rheumatoid arthritis: an 8-week randomized controlled pilot study

  • Ali Ismail A. Al-GareebEmail author
  • Faiq Isho Gorial
  • Ahmed S. Mahmood
Original Article


This study designed to identify the therapeutic efficacy of niclosamide (NCL) in Iraqi patients suffering from active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were using etanercept (ETN) for more than 3 months and still had high or moderate active RA. One hundred ten patients suffering from active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were using etanercept (ETN) for more than 3 months and still had high or moderate active RA were allocated randomly into two equal groups: one of them treated with 1000 mg/day NCL and the other treated with 1000 mg/day lactose in capsule dosage form. The study duration was 8 weeks. Clinical efficacy of the NCL was measured depending on scoring of the 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28), simple disease activity index (SDAI), clinical disease activity index (CDAI), and Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) at the baseline and at the end of the 8-week treatment period. Moreover, blood sample were taken from the patients at baseline and at after 8 weeks of treatment for measurement of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 1β (IL-1 β), interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and E-selectin. At the end of the clinical study, patients had good response to NCL when added to the ETN with a high significant improvement in the SJC, TJC, DAS-28, CDAI, SDAI, and HAQ-DI compared to patients who were received placebo drug. In addition to that, 33% of patients achieved an ACR 20% response (ACR20) on NCL and ETN. Of these, 4% achieved ACR50 and another 4% achieved ACR70 response. While those group treated by placebo + ETN, 5% achieved ACR20 response and no one reached to ACR50 or ACR70 response. Twenty-seven percent of RA patients who have taken the NCL achieved moderate EULAR score while only 17% from the group that taken placebo with ETN achieved moderate response. On the other hand, no significant reduction was found in CRP, ESR, TNF-α, and IL-6, while IL-1 β reduced significantly after treatment with NCL. Treatment with NCL also exerts a significant lowering in the serum level of the E-selectin, ICAM1, and VCAM1 when compared to their value in baseline level. In RA disease, the use of NCL as adjuvant with ETN has resulted in a marked reduction in clinical assessment scoring indices and significantly decreased the E-selectin, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1 with marked improvement in the quality of life of patients.


Etanercept Niclosamide Rheumatoid arthritis 



The authors would like to thank the medical staff of the Rheumatology Department, Baghdad Medical City, for their technical assistance. Also, sincere thanks to the laboratory staff in the Department of Outpatient Clinic, Baghdad Medical City, for their technical assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards




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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pharmacology College of Medicine, Mustansiriyah University BaghdadIraq
  2. 2.Department of MedicineCollege of Medicine, University of BaghdadBaghdadIraq
  3. 3.Department of PharmacyAl-Isra’a UniversityBaghdadIraq

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