Rheumatology Xagena

Xagena Mappa
Xagena Newsletter

Pain in patients with inflammatory arthritis and gastrointestinal or liver problems

Even with optimal disease-modifying treatment and good control of disease activity, persistent pain due to structural damage is common in people with inflammatory arthritis and therefore additional treatment for pain might be required.
Because comorbidity is highly prevalent in people with inflammatory arthritis, it is important to consider comorbidities such as gastrointestinal or liver diseases in deciding upon optimal pharmacologic pain therapy.

The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy and safety of pharmacological pain treatment in patients with inflammatory arthritis who have gastrointestinal or liver comorbidities, or both.

From 2869 identified articles only one single arm open trial fulfilled our inclusion criteria. This trial assessed the safety and efficacy of Naproxen ( dosage not specified ) in 58 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and gastrointestinal comorbidities for up to 52 weeks. Thirteen participants ( 22% ) remained on gold therapy, four participants ( 10% ) remained on Hydroxychloroquine, 27 ( 47% ) remained on corticosteroids, 12 ( 21% ) remained on salicylates and all participants continued on antacids and a bland diet.

The presence of faecal occult blood was reported in 1/58 participants tested between weeks 1 to 26 and 2/32 participants tested between weeks 27 to 52.

Over the course of the study, seven participants ( 12.1% ) withdrew due to adverse events but, of these, only two participants withdrew due to gastrointestinal side effects ( abdominal pain n = 1, nausea n = 1 ) and no serious adverse events were reported.

It was noteable that out of 14 studies excluded due to inclusion of a mixed population ( osteoarthritis or other rheumatic conditions ) or an intervention that was already withdrawn, five trials reported a higher risk of developing gastrointestinal events in patients with prior gastrointestinal events when treated with NSAIDs.

According to authors, on the basis of the current review, there is scant evidence to guide clinicians about how gastrointestinal or liver comorbidities should influence the choice of pain treatment in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis or other spondyloarthritis.
Based upon additional studies that included a mixed population of participants with a range of rheumatic conditions, NSAIDs should be used cautiously in patients with inflammatory arthritis and a history of gastrointestinaI comorbidity as there is consistent evidence that they may be at increased risk. ( Xagena )

Radner H et al, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD008951