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Efficacy and safety of leflunomide as an adjuvant drug in refractory dermatomyositis with primarily cutaneous activity

1, 2, 3, 4

  1. Hospital das Clinicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  2. Hospital das Clinicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  3. Hospital das Clinicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  4. Hospital das Clinicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil. samuel.shinjo@gmail.com

CER10268 Submission on line
2017 Vol.35, N°6 - PI 1011, PF 1013
Brief Papers

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Rheumatology Article

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
To evaluate leflunomide as an adjuvant drug in refractory dermatomyositis (DM) with primarily cutaneous activity.
METHODS:
A retrospective, single-centre, cohort study including 18 adult patients with DM (classical or clinically amyopathic DM) and cutaneous activity from 2001 to 2016 was conducted. Patients were dependent on glucocorticoid and refractory to at least two full-dose immunosuppressants/immunomodulators or presented previous adverse events with immunobiological drugs. One immunosuppressant was maintained and leflunomide added to the treatment. Patients were followed for six consecutive months.
RESULTS:
Leflunomide proved effective and safe in 12 (66.6%) out of the 18 patients. There was total control of cutaneous activity and prednisone was tapered from 17.5 to 6.0 mg/day (p<0.001). In addition, two of these patients that also had muscle involvement improved muscle strength after leflunomide treatment. Side effects or inefficacy were observed in six patients. There were no cases of serious infection or death.
CONCLUSIONS:
Leflunomide therapy appears to be effective and safe as an adjuvant drug in refractory DM with primarily cutaneous activity. Further studies are needed to confirm this data.

PMID: 28422003 [PubMed]

Received: 20/01/2017 - Accepted : 06/03/2017 - In Press: 18/04/2017 - Published: 12/12/2017