Etoricoxib in ankylosing spondylitis: is there a role for active patients refractory to traditional NSAIDs?

Clinical and experimental rheumatology

PubMedID: 26812050

Gratacós J, Moreno Martínez-Losa M, Font P, Montilla C, Fernández-Espartero C, Linares LF, Brito E, Oliva JC, Collantes-Estevez E, and the Etoricoxib Study Group. Etoricoxib in ankylosing spondylitis: is there a role for active patients refractory to traditional NSAIDs?. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2016;.
OBJECTIVES
To evaluate the efficacy of etoricoxib in patients with axial ankylosing spondyloarthritis (AS) refractory to traditional NSAIDs.

METHODS
This was an open label, multicentric, randomised, prospective (4 weeks with and open extension to 6 months), non-controlled study. Consecutive patients with axial AS refractory to traditional NSAID eligible for anti-TNF-a therapy were selected. The primary outcomes were the rate of patients with good clinical response (not eligible for anti-TNF-a therapy after etoricoxib) and the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society response criteria for biologic therapies (ASASBIO) response at 4 weeks. Secondary outcomes included: ASAS20 and 40 responses, ASDAS-CRP response, BASDAI, BASFI, back and night back pain, global patient and physician assessment of the disease, and biologic parameters like C-reactive protein (CRP) at 2, 4 weeks and 6 months.

RESULTS
A total of 57 axial AS patients were recruited, 46 men, with mean age of 43 years. After 4 weeks of treatment, 26 patients (46%) achieved a good clinical response and 11 (20%) an ASASBIO response. These results at 24 weeks were 19 (33%) and 13 (23%) respectively. All individual clinical variables improved significantly after 4 weeks of treatment. CRP serum levels decreased after 4 weeks but reached no statistical significance, although 30% of patients showed a normalisation of CRP.

CONCLUSIONS
Etoricoxib provided a clear clinical improvement in around a third of patients with axial AS refractory to traditional NSAIDs. Special care should be required when deciding to start anti-TNF-a therapy; it seems reasonable to keep in mind these results of etoricoxib treatment.