Background Tocilizumab (TCZ) is effective for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with inadequate responses to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists. However, it has not yet been established whether the type of failure that motivated the switch from TNF antagonists influences the retention of TCZ.
Objectives The present study was undertaken to investigate the relationship between the retention of TCZ and the reason for discontinuation of previous TNF antagonists in RA patients.
Methods This study included 181 RA patients who switched from TNF antagonists to TCZ therapy in Tsurumai Biologics Communication Registry (TBCR). The continuation rates and causes of discontinuation of TCZ were compared between two groups divided by the reasons for discontinuation of previous TNF antagonists (142 patients with inefficacy and 25 patients with adverse events).
Results The continuation rate of TCZ after 2 years in patients with inefficacy (76.8%) was significantly higher compared with patients with adverse events (56.0%). At the rate of discontinuation of TCZ due to inefficacy, no significance was shown between the two groups (9.2% vs 4.0%). On the other hand, the rate of discontinuation of TCZ due to adverse events in patients with inefficacy was significantly lower than patients with adverse events (6.3% vs 36.0%).
Conclusions RA patients who switched from TNF antagonists due to inefficacy to TCZ have high rates of continuation.
Disclosure of Interest None declared