Forty-six patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 22 receiving D-penicillamine and 2j alclofenac, took part in a 6-month single-bind external observer trial to compare the efficacy and toxicity of these drugs in the treatment of severe rheumatoid arthritis. Both drugs were active and similar in their efficacy at 6 months as judged by clinical and laboratory measurements. Penicillamine was active therapeutically by 3 months, one month before alclofenac. 9 patients, 8 on alclofenac and one on D-penicillamine, had to stop treatment because of lack of effect or toxic effects. Skin rashes within the first week of treatment were a major problem with alclofenac and led to 6 withdrawals.
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