Three Drug Combo Beneficial in Lupus Nephritis Patients

Half of those lupus nephritis patients taking three medications achieved full remission.
Half of those lupus nephritis patients taking three medications achieved full remission.

In a trial of 368 Chinese patients with lupus nephritis, those who were given a trio of medications were more likely to see a complete remission.

The researchers, led by Zhihong Liu, M.D., of the Nanjing University School of Medicine in China, reported the findings online Nov. 11 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Liu's team randomly assigned patients with lupus nephritis to one of two groups: One received monthly infusions of cyclophosphamide, plus oral steroid medication; the other received oral steroids, along with two immune-suppressing medications -- mycophenolate mofetil and tacrolimus.

After six months, 45.9 percent of patients on the drug trio were in complete remission, and 83.5 percent had at least a partial response. In contrast, 25.6 percent of patients on cyclophosphamide were in complete remission. And 63.0 percent had at least a partial response.

"Multitarget therapy provides superior efficacy compared with intravenous cyclophosphamide as induction therapy for lupus nephritis," the authors write.

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