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Factors Affecting Hydroxychloroquine Adherence

A study from the University of British Columbia has evaluated the trajectories of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) use in patients with incident RA and SLE between1997 and 2021, and identified factors associated with high adherence. 

From a total of 27,510 RA/SLE patients taking antimalarial therapy (23,997 RA and 3,513 SLE), they identified four groups of antimalarial adherence trajectories; ordered from worse to better:

  1. Group 1: quick deterioration (19%) (red below
  2. Group 2: moderate deterioration (15.7%) (green) 
  3. Group 3: slow deterioration (18.4%) (blue) 
  4. Group 4: consistent high adherence (46.8%) (black) 

Significantly better HCQ adherence based on baseline featus included those who were older, had higher income, had SLE compared with RA, had hypertension, saw rheumatologists, and wer treated with glucocorticoids, immunosuppressives or Cox-2 selective NSAIDs. 

In this large cohort of RA/SLE incident antimalarial users, 53.2% did not continuously adhere to antimalarial regimen in the first year of treatment. 














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The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject