Weekly Etanercept Effective in Ankylosing Spondylitis

Symptoms relieved with 50 milligrams once a week or 25 milligrams twice a week

THURSDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Twenty-five to 50 milligrams of the drug etanercept once or twice weekly significantly relieves symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis, researchers report in the June issue of Rheumatology.

Reiko Sato, Ph.D., of Wyeth Research in Collegeville, Pa., and colleagues compared the effects of giving 50 mg of etanercept once a week, 25 mg twice a week or placebo for 12 weeks in 356 patients with active ankylosing spondylitis.

The researchers found that treatment with 50 mg of etanercept once a week or 25 mg twice weekly resulted in markedly better functional abilities and quality of life versus placebo.

Many etanercept patients also reported significantly better outcomes in quality-of-life measurements, including pain, fatigue, physical abilities, psychosocial and overall health, the report indicates.

"The more convenient etanercept 50 mg once-weekly dose regimen significantly improves function and quality of life in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, similarly to the standard dosing of 25 mg twice-weekly, supporting its use for ankylosing spondylitis therapy," the authors write.

The study was funded by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

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