Clinical experience with infliximab among Filipino patients with rheumatic diseases

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AimTo describe the clinical experience with infliximab among Filipino patients with rheumatic diseases, specifically disease indications, dose regimens, clinical response, and adverse events.MethodsWe reviewed the data on Filipino patients who were given infliximab by rheumatologists for a rheumatic disease indication. The case report form included demographic profile, underlying rheumatic disease, comorbidities, concurrent medications, dose and frequency of infliximab, physicians' assessment of clinical response, and adverse events. The frequency of doses, intervals between doses, and discontinuation status were recorded.ResultsIncluded were 64 patients (35 females), with a mean age of 44 years. Most (41%) had rheumatoid arthritis, followed by psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis (31.2%) and ankylosing spondylitis (17.2%). Average disease duration from diagnosis to initiation of infliximab therapy was 7.6 years ± 6.7 SD. Among 35 patients, the interval between maintenance infusions ranged from 6 to 13.6 weeks, with a mean of 8.27 weeks. Clinical response was good to excellent in more than 80% of patients. Discontinuation rate was 10.9% and 28.1% at 3 and 12 months, respectively. Infusion-related adverse events were mild and transient, and 14 (21.8%) cases of infection resolved with appropriate therapy. Infliximab was temporarily withheld in five (7.8%) patients with active tuberculosis.SummaryThese findings substantiate the superior clinical efficacy of infliximab and manageable adverse events among Filipinos with rheumatic diseases. It also demonstrates dose regimens in clinical practice in a third world setting with limited resources.

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