Comparison of the effects of Tripterygii totorum and sulfasalazine on rheumatoid arthritis: A retrospective cohort study
Purpose: To compare, in a retrospective study, the effects and safety profiles of Tripterygii totorum and sulfasalazine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) following 24 weeks of treatment.
Methods: RA patients (n = 164) who were treated with Tripterygii totorum or sulfasalazine from August 2012 to February 2016 were included in this study. The major end-point was ≥ 20 % improvement as per American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criterion (ACR 20 response) after 24 weeks. Moreover, ACR 50 and ACR 70 responses were studied. The safety parameters investigated comprised of adverse events, vital signs, as well as hematological and biochemical indices (blood counts, electrolyte levels, and kidney and liver function).
Results: At 24 weeks, ACR 20 response was 57.32 % in patients on Tripterygii totorum, while the corresponding value in patients on sulfasalazine was 39.02 % (p = 0.02). In the Tripterygii totorum group, ACR 50 response was 41.46 %, while ACR 70 response was 29.27 %. In sulfasalazine group, ACR 50 response was identified in 26.83 % of the patients, while ACR 70 response was seen in 21.95 % of patients. Adverse events were greater in the Tripterygii totorum group than in sulfasalazine group.
Conclusion: These results suggest that Tripterygii Totorum significantly mitigates RA, with a tolerable safety profile. However, there is need for long-term or controlled trials to ascertain the therapeutic potential of Tripterygii totorum in RA.
Keywords: Traditional Chinese medicine, Tripterygii totorum, Sulfasalazine, Rheumatoid arthritis
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