From the Journals

Two uveitis treatment options yield similar success



Approximately two-thirds of adults with uveitis achieved inflammation control after 6 months on either methotrexate or mycophenolate alongside a reduction in corticosteroid use 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 S.R. Rathinam, MD, PhD, 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 (FAST) trial published Sept. 10 in JAMA, 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.


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