Predicting successful biologics tapering in patients with inflammatory arthritis: Secondary analyses based on the BIOlogical Dose OPTimisation (BIODOPT) trial

Line Uhrenholt*, Kirsten Duch, Robin Christensen, Lene Dreyer, Ellen-Margrethe Hauge, Annette Schlemmer, Peter C Taylor, Salome Kristensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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AIMS: To evaluate predictors for successful biologic tapering among patients with inflammatory arthritis using baseline characteristics from the BIODOPT trial.

METHODS: Adult patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or axial spondyloarthritis on stable biologic dose and in low disease activity ≥12 months were enrolled. Participants were randomized (2:1) to disease activity-guided biologic tapering or continuation of baseline biologic. Patients achieving successful tapering reduced their biologic dose by ≥50%, had no protocol deviations and were in low disease activity at 18 months. Modified Poisson regression with robust variance estimator was applied.

RESULTS: In total, 142 patients were randomized to tapering (n = 95) or control (n = 47). Successful tapering was achieved by 32 and 2%, respectively. Tapering group was the only statistically significant independent predictor for successful tapering, risk ratio (RR): 14.0 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.9 to 101.3, P = .009). However, higher Short Form Health Survey 36 mental component summary (SF-36 MCS) was observed to be a predictor of potential importance, RR: 1.06 (95% CI: 0.99 to 1.13, P = .097). When limiting the analyses to the tapering group only, none of the baseline variables were statistically significant independent predictors but SF-36 MCS was still considered to be of potential importance, RR: 1.05 (95% CI: 0.99 to 1.12, P = .098).

CONCLUSION: Successful tapering is a reachable target for 1 in 3 patients with inflammatory arthritis who are interested in reducing their biological therapy. No statistically significant predictors (besides allocation to tapering) were identified. Future research on mental health and tapering is encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)3152-3164
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Pharmacological Society.


  • arthritis
  • biologicals
  • clinical trials
  • drug utilization


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