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Treatment: DMARDs 

Treatment: DMARDs
Treatment: DMARDs

Denis Poddubnyy

and Hildrun Haibel

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date: 27 September 2020

In axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) there is little evidence to support use of classical synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), with the majority of studies performed in advanced ankylosing spondylitis. Sulfasalazine is the best investigated DMARD in axSpA. Its positive clinical effect, if any, seems to be more prominent in the presence of peripheral arthritis, although a certain proportion of patients with axial disease might benefit from sulfasalazine therapy. Available data indicate that there is no evidence that methotrexate might be effective in axial disease, and only marginal evidence exists in support of methotrexate use in case of peripheral involvement. No true disease-modifying properties (e.g. retardation of structural damage progression in the spine) have been demonstrated for DMARDs in axSpA to date. Efficacy of a combination therapy (e.g. methotrexate plus sulfasalazine) as well as benefits of methotrexate (or other DMARDs) in addition to tumour necrosis factor α‎ inhibitors in axSpA remain uncertain.

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