RHEUMATOLOGY 04.11.2015 0 COMMENTS Malaria Drug Has Utility in RA Hydroxychloroquine less likely to cause hyperlipidemia than methotrexate.


In early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), treatment with the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine may reduce the risk of hyperlipidemia, when compared with methotrexate (MTX), according to a large retrospective study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

The study of disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) use also noted a possible increase in hyperlipidemia risk in some initiating treatment with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha inhibitors). The investigation was led by Rishi J. Desai, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the hospital’s Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics.

Although RA patients have a generally higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), several studies have suggested that RA patients may have lower total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol than persons without RA. “Reports of inverse association between inflammatory markers and lipid parameters may explain this phenomenon,” Desai and associates wrote.

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