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Duru N.,University Utrecht | Van Der Goes M.C.,University Utrecht | Jacobs J.W.G.,University Utrecht | Andrews T.,EULAR Social Leagues Patients Representative | And 12 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2013

To develop recommendations for the management of medium to high-dose (ie, >7.5 mg but 7le;100 mg prednisone equivalent daily) systemic glucocorticoid (GC) therapy in rheumatic diseases. A multidisciplinary EULAR task force was formed, including rheumatic patients. After discussing the results of a general initial search on risks of GC therapy, each participant contributed 10 propositions on key clinical topics concerning the safe use of medium to high-dose GCs. The final recommendations were selected via a Delphi consensus approach. A systematic literature search of PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane Library was used to identify evidence concerning each of the propositions. The strength of recommendation was given according to research evidence, clinical expertise and patient preference. The 10 propositions regarded patient education and informing general practitioners, preventive measures for osteoporosis, optimal GC starting dosages, risk-benefit ratio of GC treatment, GC sparing therapy, screening for comorbidity, and monitoring for adverse effects. In general, evidence supporting the recommendations proved to be surprisingly weak. One of the recommendations was rejected, because of conflicting literature data. Nine final recommendations for the management of medium to high-dose systemic GC therapy in rheumatic diseases were selected and evaluated with their strengths of recommendations. Robust evidence was often lacking; a research agenda was created.

Skorpen C.G.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Hoeltzenbein M.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Tincani A.,University of Brescia | Fischer-Betz R.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf | And 16 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2016

A European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) task force was established to define points to consider on use of antirheumatic drugs before pregnancy, and during pregnancy and lactation. Based on a systematic literature review and pregnancy exposure data from several registries, statements on the compatibility of antirheumatic drugs during pregnancy and lactation were developed. The level of agreement among experts in regard to statements and propositions of use in clinical practice was established by Delphi voting. The task force defined 4 overarching principles and 11 points to consider for use of antirheumatic drugs during pregnancy and lactation. Compatibility with pregnancy and lactation was found for antimalarials, sulfasalazine, azathioprine, ciclosporin, tacrolimus, colchicine, intravenous immunoglobulin and glucocorticoids. Methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil and cyclophosphamide require discontinuation before conception due to proven teratogenicity. Insufficient documentation in regard to fetal safety implies the discontinuation of leflunomide, tofacitinib as well as abatacept, rituximab, belimumab, tocilizumab, ustekinumab and anakinra before a planned pregnancy. Among biologics tumour necrosis factor inhibitors are best studied and appear reasonably safe with first and second trimester use. Restrictions in use apply for the few proven teratogenic drugs and the large proportion of medications for which insufficient safety data for the fetus/child are available. Effective drug treatment of active inflammatory rheumatic disease is possible with reasonable safety for the fetus/child during pregnancy and lactation. The dissemination of the data to health professionals and patients as well as their implementation into clinical practice may help to improve the management of pregnant and lactating patients with rheumatic disease. © 2016 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & European League Against Rheumatism.

Van Der Goes M.C.,University Utrecht | Jacobs J.W.G.,University Utrecht | Boers M.,VU University Amsterdam | Andrews T.,Royal Infirmary | And 15 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2010

Objective: To explore perspectives among patients and rheumatologists on glucocorticoid (GC) therapy and European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations on the management of systemic GC therapy in order to enhance implementation of the recommendations. Methods: Rheumatologists (from eight countries) and patients (from five countries) acquainted with GCs participated in separate meetings, during which positive and negative aspects of GC therapy were discussed and possible adverse events (AEs) were ranked for importance; in addition participants were asked to evaluate the published EULAR recommendations. The reports from these meetings and themes related to implementation of the recommendations were discussed during an international forum of the experts who had formulated the recommendations and patient participants. Results: In all, 140 patients (78% women; mean age 53 years; 61% patients with rheumatoid arthritis) and 110 rheumatologists (mean work experience 15 years) participated in the meetings. Osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases were ranked among the five most worrisome AEs by patients and rheumatologists. In both groups, there was agreement with most of the recommendations; the recommendations on GC information cards and GC use during pregnancy scored lowest. Ideas to improve implementation of the recommendations and a research agenda were generated. Conclusion: The patient and rheumatologist views on GCs corresponded to a large extent, reflected by concerns in both groups about osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Specific problems with the EULAR recommendations were identified and addressed to improve their implementation. This exercise shows that patient and rheumatologist perspectives should be included early in the process of formulating recommendations.

Van Der Goes M.C.,University Utrecht | Jacobs J.W.G.,University Utrecht | Boers M.,VU University Amsterdam | Andrews T.,Royal Infirmary | And 12 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2010

Objective: To develop recommendations on monitoring for adverse events (AEs) of low-dose glucocorticoid (GC) therapy (≤7.5 mg prednisone or equivalent daily) in clinical trials and daily practice. Methods: Literature was searched for articles containing information on incidence and monitoring of GC-related AEs using PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane databases. Second, the authors searched for broad accepted guidelines on the monitoring of certain AEs (eg, WHO guidelines on screening for diabetes). Available data were summarised and discussed among experts (rheumatologists and patients) of the EULAR Task Force to decide which potential AEs should be monitored, how and at which interval. Results: Data on monitoring proved to be scarce; most articles were focused on therapeutic effects of GCs, not on occurrence and monitoring of AEs. Most recommendations had to be based on consensus. Those for clinical trials aimed at getting insights into incidence, prevalence and clinical relevance of AEs to create a comprehensive and valid AE-profile of GC therapy. The set of AEs to monitor is therefore more extensive, and often consists of assessments at baseline and at end of trials. Recommendations for daily practice are meant to protect patients from real dangers, which can be prevented or treated. Standard care monitoring needs NOT be extended for patients on low-dose GC therapy, except for osteoporosis (follow national guidelines), and baseline assessments of ankle edema, fasting blood glucose and risk factors for glaucoma. Conclusion: Given the incompleteness of literature data, consensus-based recommendations on monitoring for GC-related AEs were created, separately for daily practice and clinical trials.

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