ACR: Cut-Off Of RA Drugs Before Surgery Arbitrary

Fri, 11/11/2011 - 4:17am
Nancy Walsh


When patients with rheumatoid arthritis are scheduled for orthopedic surgery, crucial anti-tumor necrosis factor inhibitors are stopped for periods that may be longer than necessary – exposing patients to the risk of disease flares, researchers found.

For example, the average stop time advocated for patients on etanercept (Enbrel) was 2.4 weeks – even though the drug has a half-life of three to 5.5 days, Lisa Mandl, MD, of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, said here.

In her presentation at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, Mandl also noted that the average stop time ordered for patients on adalimumab (Humira) was 4.6 weeks, despite the half-life of the drug being 1.4 to 2.9 weeks.

Among patients treated with infliximab (Remicade) which has a half-life of one to 1.7 weeks, the average stop time was 4.9 weeks.

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