AbstractPurpose: to evaluate the efficacy and tolerance of methotrexate (MTX) administered in low weekly doses (10 mg) to decrease steroid requirements in steroid-dependent asthmatic patients (P).
Population: 46 caucasian P were included between 1995 and 1999 (32 female, age 57,3 ± 12,3 years; FEV1 1,55 L (62,8%); FEV1 /FVC 56%). Inclusion criteria: Steroid-dependent asthmatic P (>_ 7.5 mg/d of 6-methyl-prednisolone (6-MP) for a minimum of one year), treated in accordance with the International Consensus Report (1992), receiving salmeterol (50 µg/12h) and a daily dose of budesonide of 800 µg. Exclusion criteria: impaired renal function, previous malignancy, liver disease, peptic ulcer disease, psychiatric disease psiquiàtrica, pulmonary aspregillosis, interstitial lung disease, haemathologic disease, HIV infection.
Methods: P were randomized, in a double-blind study, to receive for a year ( after a stabilization period of at least three months plus a run in period of four weeks) a capsule containing 10 mg of MTX or placebo. Tests performed: Every month during the first trimester and every three months until the end of the study: PFTs, blood and urine analysis. A bone densitometry was performed at the beginning and the end of the one year follow-up. Thoracic CT-scan and abdominal ultrasound were performed at inclusion. 6-MP was progressively tapered (2 mg/day every two weeks) until FEV1 diminished 5% or more; 6-MP was then increased until previous FEV1 was reached, and the procedure was repeated throughout follow-up.
Results: 39 P evaluated. There were no differences between the groups. A 54,8% (9,5 ± 4,9 mg/d) decrease in 6-MP dose was observed in the MTX group. In the placebo group, the dose of 6-MP decreased only a 4,37% (0,5 ± 7,2 mg/d), pConclusions: 1) MTX is an effective steroid-sparing agent 2) A dosage lower than the recommended in the literature is effective. 3) Tolerance was good. 4) No benefit in bone metabolism was observed after a one-year follow-up.
|Date of Award||2 Oct 2001|
|Supervisor||Cristian Domingo Ribas (Director) & Vicente Fonollosa Pla (Tutor)|