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Pharmacological treatment of psoriatic arthritis: a systematic literature research for the 2019 update of the EULAR recommendations for the management of psoriatic arthritis
  1. Andreas Kerschbaumer1,
  2. Josef S Smolen1,
  3. Maxime Dougados2,
  4. Maarten de Wit3,
  5. Jette Primdahl4,5,6,
  6. Iain McInnes7,
  7. Désirée van der Heijde8,
  8. Xenofon Baraliakos9,
  9. Louise Falzon10,
  10. Laure Gossec11,12
  1. 1 Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2 Hopital Cochin, Rheumatology, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France
  3. 3 EULAR past Vice President representing People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe (PARE), Zurich, Switzerland
  4. 4 Danish Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, University Hospital of Southern Denmark, Sønderborg, Denmark
  5. 5 Department of Regional Health Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Syddanmark, Denmark
  6. 6 Hospital of Southern Jutland, University Hospital of Southern Denmark, Aabenraa, Denmark
  7. 7 Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  8. 8 Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
  9. 9 Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Herne, Germany
  10. 10 Center for Personalized Health, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, New York, New York, USA
  11. 11 Institut Pierre Louis d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France
  12. 12 APHP, Department of Rheumatology, Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andreas Kerschbaumer, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; andreas.kerschbaumer{at}


Objective To perform an update of a review of the efficacy and safety of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

Methods This is a systematic literature research of 2015–2018 publications on all DMARDs in patients with PsA, searching Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library. Efficacy was assessed in randomised controlled trials. For safety, cohort studies, case–control studies and long-term extensions (LTEs) were analysed.

Results 56 publications (efficacy: n=33; safety n=23) were analysed. The articles were on tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors (n=6; golimumab, etanercept and biosimilars), interleukin (IL)-17A inhibitors (n=10; ixekizumab, secukinumab), IL-23-p19 inhibitors (n=2; guselkumab, risankizumab), clazakizumab (IL-6 inhibitor), abatacept (CD80/86 inhibitor) and ABT-122 (anti-TNF/IL-17A), respectively. One study compared ustekinumab (IL-12/23i) with TNF inhibitor therapy in patients with entheseal disease. Three articles investigated DMARD tapering. Trials on targeted synthetic DMARDs investigated apremilast (phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor) and Janus kinase inhibitors (JAKi; tofacitinib, filgotinib). Biosimilar comparison with bio-originator showed non-inferiority. Safety was evaluated in 13 LTEs, 9 cohort studies and 1 case–control study investigating malignancies, infections, infusion reactions, multiple sclerosis and major cardiovascular events, as well as efficacy and safety of vaccination. No new safety signals were identified; however, warnings on the risk of venous thromboembolic events including pulmonary embolism when using JAKi were issued by regulators based on other studies.

Conclusion Many drugs in PsA are available and have demonstrated efficacy against placebo. Efficacy varies across PsA manifestations. Safety must also be taken into account. This review informed the development of the European League Against Rheumatism 2019 updated PsA management recommendations.

  • psoriatic arthritis
  • DMARDs (biologic)
  • DMARDs (synthetic)
  • anti-TNF

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  • Handling editor David S Pisetsky

  • Contributors All authors contributed and finally approved the current manuscript.

  • Funding The study was funded by the European League Against Rheumatism.

  • Competing interests AK: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Gilead, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Novartis and Pfizer. JSS: grants to institution from AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Lilly, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Pfizer and Roche; speaker for AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Astro, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Celltrion, Chugai, Gilead, ILTOO Pharma, Janssen, Lilly, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Novartis-Sandoz, Pfizer, Roche, Samsung, Sanofi and UCB. MD: AbbVie, BMS, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Merck, Pfizer and UCB. MdW: through Stichting Tools from AbbVie, BMS, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Janssen-Cilag, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche. JP: BMS and Pfizer. IM: AbbVie, BMS, Lilly, Novartis, Celgene, Gilead, Janssen, Boehringer, UCB and Pfizer. DvdH: AbbVie, Amgen, Astellas, AstraZeneca, BMS, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, Cyxone, Daiichi, Eisai, Eli Lilly, Galapagos, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Regeneron, Roche, Sanofi, Takeda and UCB Pharma, and Director of Imaging Rheumatology bv. XB: AbbVie, Amgen, BMS, Celgene, Chugai, Hexal, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Mylan, Novartis, Pfizer, Sandoz and UCB. LF: none. LG: AbbVie, Biogen, Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, Mylan, Novartis, Pfizer, Sandoz, Sanofi-Aventis and UCB.

  • Patient and public involvement The taskforce on this project involved a PPI representative (MdW), member of the EULAR Standing Committee of People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe, who contributed during all task force meetings, especially to take patient perspectives into account and refine research questions.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.