Humira No Help for Arthritic Hands
Written by Editor   
Friday, May 16, 2014 03:08 PM

Treatment with adalimumab (Humira) was unsuccessful in providing pain relief for hand osteoarthritis (OA), a randomized multicenter trial found.

Among patients with hand OA who had not previously responded to analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, 35.1% of those given adalimumab experienced a 50% improvement in pain at week six, as did 27.3% of those given placebo, according to Xavier Chevalier, MD, of Henri Mondor Hospital in Creteil, France, and colleagues.

Osteoarthritis of the hand is the most common type of OA, particularly among older women, and some patients experience erosive changes and significant pain and disability even with optimal recommended treatments including joint splints, thermal modalities, and oral and topical medications.  "Therefore, there is a real need for an emerging effective therapy in hand OA where the impact on the patient's daily quality of life could be as severe as in rheumatoid arthritis," stated researchers.

Adverse events were similar, occurring overall in 75.6% of the adalimumab group and 73% of the placebo group. Severe events occurred in 9.8% and 5.4% of the two groups, respectively.

"All these data strongly suggest that pain and disability in hand OA are not TNF alpha-dependent," the authors stated.