Real-world comparative risks of herpes virus infections in tofacitinib and biologic-treated patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Jeffrey R. Curtis, Fenglong Xie, Huifeng Yun, Sasha Bernatsky, Kevin L. Winthrop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the risks of herpes zoster (HZ) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection associated with tofacitinib compared with biologic agents among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: Using health plan data from 2010 to 2014, patients with RA initiating tofacitinib or biologics with no history of HZ or HSV were identified, as were incident cases of HZ or HSV. Crude incidence rates were calculated by drug exposure. Cox proportional hazards models evaluated the adjusted association between tofacitinib and HZ, and a composite outcome of HZ or HSV. Results: A total of 2526 patients initiating tofacitinib were compared with initiations of other biologics: anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) (n=42 850), abatacept (n=12 305), rituximab (n=5078) and tocilizumab (n=6967). Patients receiving tofacitinib were somewhat younger (mean age 55 years) versus those on other biologics, and somewhat less likely to use concomitant methotrexate (MTX) (39% vs 43%-56%, depending on drug). Crude incidence of HZ associated with tofacitinib was 3.87/100 patient-years (py). After multivariable adjustment, HZ risk was significantly elevated, HR 2.01 (95% CI 1.40 to 2.88) compared with abatacept. Rates and adjusted HRs for all other RA biologics were comparable with each other and abatacept. Older age, female sex, prednisone >7.5 mg/day, prior outpatient infection and greater number of hospitalisations were also associated with increased HZ risk. Incidence rates for the combined outcome were greatest for tofacitinib (7.61/100 py) and also significantly elevated after adjustment (HR=1.40, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.81). Conclusions: The rate of zoster associated with tofacitinib was approximately double that observed in patients using biologics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1843-1847
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the rheumatic diseases
Volume75
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Keywords

  • Infections
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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