Canadian recommendations for use of methotrexate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Practice Guidelines as Topic
To develop recommendations for the use of methotrexate (MTX) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Canadian rheumatologists who participated in the international 3e Initiative in Rheumatology (evidence, expertise, exchange) in 2007-2008 formulated 5 unique Canadian questions. A bibliographic team systematically reviewed the relevant literature on these 5 topics. An expert committee consisting of 26 rheumatologists from across Canada was convened, and a set of recommendations was proposed based on the results of systematic reviews combined with expert opinions using a nominal group consensus process.
The 5 questions addressed drug interactions, predictors of response, strategies to reduce non-serious side effects, variables to assess clinical response, and incorporating patient preference into decision-making. The systematic review retrieved 93 pertinent articles; this evidence was presented to the expert committee during the interactive workshop. After extensive discussion and voting, a total of 9 recommendations were formulated: 2 on drug interactions, 1 on predictors of response, 2 on strategies to reduce non-serious side effects, 3 on variables to assess clinical response, and 1 on incorporating patient preferences into decision-making. The level of evidence and the strength of recommendations are reported. Agreement among panelists ranged from 85% to 100%.
Nine recommendations pertaining to the use of MTX in daily practice were developed using an evidence-based approach followed by expert/physician consensus with high level of agreement.