Effects of concomitant glucocorticoids in TOZURA, a common-framework study programme of subcutaneous tocilizumab in rheumatoid arthritis

Ernest Choy, Roberto Caporali, Ricardo Xavier, Bruno Fautrel, Raimon Sanmarti, Min Bao, Jenny Devenport, Attila Pethö-Schramm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: This post hoc analysis of the TOZURA study programme evaluated the efficacy and safety of subcutaneous tocilizumab (TCZ-SC) as monotherapy or with concomitant conventional synthetic DMARDs (csDMARDs) in patients with RA categorized by baseline glucocorticoid (GC) use. METHODS: TOZURA was a multinational, open-label, single-arm, common-framework study programme (11 protocols, 22 countries) in patients with moderate to severe RA in whom csDMARDs or biologic therapies had failed or who were MTX naïve. Patients received once-weekly TCZ-SC 162 mg for ⩾24 weeks as monotherapy or in combination with csDMARDs and/or oral GC use (⩽10 mg/day prednisone or equivalent), which was to be continued unchanged for 24 weeks. Treatment subgroups were defined by baseline GC use and analysed for efficacy and safety. RESULTS: Of 1804 patients who received TCZ-SC, 145 received monotherapy + GC, 208 received monotherapy without GC, 730 received combination therapy + GC and 721 received combination therapy without GC. The median GC dose in both GC subgroups was 5 mg/day. The proportion of patients who achieved clinical remission, defined as DAS in 28 joints using ESR <2.6, increased similarly from baseline to week 24 in all subgroups. Improvements in patient-reported outcomes were similar in all subgroups. Overall adverse event profiles were generally similar between subgroups, with some slight numerical differences between GC and non-GC subgroups. CONCLUSION: The incremental efficacy benefits of TCZ-SC as monotherapy and in combination with csDMARDs were similar between patients with and without previous and continued oral GC treatment, with generally similar safety profiles. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, http://www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT01941940, NCT01941095, NCT01951170, NCT01987479, NCT01988012, NCT01995201, NCT02001987, NCT02011334, NCT02031471, NCT02046603, NCT02046616.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1064
Number of pages9
JournalRheumatology (Oxford, England)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2019


  • biologic therapies
  • csDMARDs
  • glucocorticoid
  • RA
  • tocilizumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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