in an international, multicenter, open-label, randomized trial.
“The findings of this trial have implications for clinical practice because they provide scientific justification that mycophenolate mofetil is not more effective than methotrexate as a corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppressive therapy for uveitis,” wrote, of Aravind Eye Hospital and Postgraduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Madurai, India, and colleagues.
Although corticosteroid therapy is the first-line treatment for uveitis, adverse effects limit long-term use. Mycophenolate mofetil and methotrexate are options for corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppressive therapy for uveitis, but their effectiveness has not been compared until the current study, they said.
In the First-line Antimetabolites as Steroid-sparing Treatment () trial published Sept. 10 in , the researchers randomized 216 adults with uveitis (a total of 407 eyes with uveitis) to 25 mg of weekly oral methotrexate or 1.5 g of twice-daily oral mycophenolate mofetil at nine referral eye care centers in India, the United States, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico; the investigators were masked to the treatment assignment.
Patients with treatment success continued taking their randomized medication for another 6 months. If treatment failed, patients switched to the other antimetabolite with another 6-month follow-up. Overall, 84%-93% in each group had bilateral uveitis. Forty-six patients (21%) had intermediate uveitis only or anterior uveitis and intermediate uveitis, and 170 patients (79%) had posterior uveitis or panuveitis. The median age of the patients was 36 years in the methotrexate group and 41 years in the mycophenolate group; other demographic characteristics were similar between the groups.