Here are the top stories recently covered by DocWire News in the rheumatology section. In this edition, read about turmeric for osteoarthritis (OA) pain, former tennis professional Caroline Wozniackiâs rheumatoid arthritis (RA) journey, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients with COVID-19, and baricitinib plus remdisivir in COVID-19.
A small study published in theÂ Annals of Internal MedicineÂ found thatÂ Curcuma longaÂ extract, known commonly as turmeric, compared to placebo, was more effective in treating pain related toÂ knee OA. Patients were randomized into two groups:Â Curcuma longaÂ extract (n=36) or placebo (n=34).Â ForÂ Curcuma longaÂ extract patients, compared to placebo, visual analog scale pain improved by â9.1 mm, but effusionâsynovitis volume did not change.Â Curcuma longaÂ extract patients also had greater improvements in Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index knee pain but not lateral femoral cartilage T2 relaxation time. The rate of adverse events did not largely differ between the groups. The study authors also noted that two events in theÂ Curcuma longaÂ extract group and five events in the placebo group may not have been related to the study. The researchers acknowledged that their study was limited by its âmodest sample size and short duration,â as the intervention was only 12 weeks long.
It may be difficult to imagine strong, successful athletes battling with something as debilitating as RA. But two years ago, thatâs exactly what happened to former tennis professional Caroline Wozniacki. Wozniacki opened up about her experience in an exclusive interview withÂ PEOPLE. In 2018, she was ranked the No. 2 tennis player in the worldâunbeknownst to her fans, however, the morning after a three-hour tennis match, Wozniacki couldnât get out of bed due to âexcruciating painââeventually she received an RA diagnosis. Wozniackiâs experience led her to launchÂ Advantage Hers, a global campaign aimed at helping women with autoimmune diseases take advantage of their lives and take an active role in managing their disease.
A study published inÂ PLOS MedicineÂ did not observe adverse outcomes associated with the use of NSAIDs in patients with COVID-19. Specifically, the researchers concluded, âUse of NSAIDs was not associated with an increased risk of 30-day mortality or adverse outcomes in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 in this cohort of all Danish residents who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.â They did caution, though, that âthe well-established adverse effects of NSAIDs, particularly their renal, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular effects, should always be considered, and NSAIDs should be used in the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible duration for all patients.â
Eli Lillyâs arthritis drug baricitinib, when combined with remdesivir, reduced recovery time forÂ COVID-19 patientsÂ by about a day compared to patients receiving remdesivir alone,Â the company announced. Lillyâs baricitinib is marketed as Olumiant and is indicated to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis patients who did not have adequate results with a TNF inhibitor. It has been the subject of several COVID-19 clinical trials. The latest data come from the phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT-2); more than 1,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients randomly received either a 4-mg dose of baricitinib plus remdesivir or remdesivir alone. The baricitinib plus remdesivir group exhibited an estimated one-day reduction median recovery time compared to the remdesivir alone group, which the investigators said was a âstatistically significantâ finding.