: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that associated with joint deformity and bears significant health care related expenses.
Approximately 1% of the adult population is affected by this disease worldwide. The drug utilization studies form an important tool for the assessment of rational or irrational prescribing. Thus keeping this in view the prescribing pattern analysis in RA patients was done and efficacy
of disease modified anti rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)s in RA was analyzed.
Methods: This potential observational study was carried out jointly by the department of pharmacology and rheumatology at IMS and SUM hospital for one year. A total of 132 RA diagnosed patients were included in the study. The diagnosis was made diagnosed according to ACR revised criteria of 2010.This is an observational longitudinal open level study.
Results: Total 132 patients of RA were followed up. Number of females were 103 (78%) which was higher than the number of male i.e. 29 (22%). 83 (63%) were found in the age group of 31-50 years, which is higher than other age groups i.e. 34 (26%) in 51-70 years age group and 15 (11%) in 18-30 years age group. After 3 months, 3 drug combinations was the most prescribed group i.e. 86(65.2%), followed by 4 drugs group i.e. 30(22.7%). After 6 months, 2 drugs combination was prescribed most i.e. 96(72.7%), followed by 3 drugs combination i.e. 27(20.5%). During initiation of the DMARDs therapy HCQ (Mono and in combination) was the most preferable drug i.e. 129(97.7%). MTX was prescribed to 109(82.6%) patients. Combination therapy was preferred than monotherapy in all three time period. For mono therapy HCQ was preferred than MTX. Differences in efficacy of various ARD groups showed significant difference from the baseline DAS28CRP score with 3 months, 6 months and 1 year DAS28CRP score (P< 0.0001).
Conclusion: DMARDs are the primary modality of treatment and needs prolonged therapy. Among the combinations used, HCQ and MTX plus PRED was the most commonly prescribed followed by combination of HCQ plus PRED in initiation of the therapy.