Patients Report Upadacitinib Benefits for Psoriatic Arthritis

In the past, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) has been relatively difficult to manage or control with current therapies such as biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs). While some patients respond well to treatments, others do not. Thus, a new therapeutic option is needed to help patients with controlling their PsA. According to the Rheumatology Network, upadacitinib could be the answer. Researchers evaluated upadacitinib for PsA within the Phase 3 SELECT-PsA 2 clinical trial. They found that, following treatment, patients saw better disease control, reduced symptoms, and a higher quality of life. Interested in learning more? Take a look at the study findings published in Rheumatology and Therapy. 

Upadacitinib

According to an unrelated article published in The New England Journal of Medicine, upadacitinib is:

an oral, reversible Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Within this particular clinical trial, researchers were evaluating the therapy for adult patients with PsA. To enroll, patients must have been experiencing symptoms for 6+ months, in addition to responding poorly or inadequately to one prior treatment. Altogether, 641 patients enrolled. During the trial, patients received either a placebo or 15 or 30mg upadacitinib daily for the first 24 weeks. Then all patients were given either 15 or 30mg upadacitinib. Findings include:
  • Patients receiving upadacitinib saw significant reductions in pain and disease activity compared to the placebo. In fact, patients receiving 30mg saw 72% improvement in disease activity.
  • Upatacitinib was relatively fast-acting. Some patients reported improvements within the first 2 weeks of treatment.
  • Patients saw significantly better Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) responses when taking upadacitinib as compared to the placebo.
  • Altogether, 80% stated that they achieved a sustained and durable treatment response throughout the entire course of the study.
  • For patients initially treated with the placebo, they saw improvements once switched over to upadacitinib treatment.

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

An estimated 40% of patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) have a family history of either psoriasis or arthritis, suggesting that genetics could play a role in this condition. PsA is an inflammatory arthritis that sometimes occurs in patients with psoriasis. It is characterized by red patches of skin with silvery scales, as well as joint inflammation and damage. For some patients, joint problems develop first; for others, skin lesions are the first symptom. Other symptoms include:

  • Fatigue and general malaise
  • Tendon and joint pain, inflammation, and tenderness
  • Extremely swollen fingers and toes
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Stiffness which worsens in the morning
  • Eye pain and redness (uveitis, conjunctivitis)
  • Nail changes, such as pitting or separation from the nail bed
Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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