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17-09-2020 | COVID-19 | News

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COVID-19: High rates of medication adherence in rheumatology patients

Claire Barnard

medwireNews: Nonadherence to rheumatology medications during the COVID-19 pandemic is uncommon, researchers report.

Aida Malek Mahdavi and colleagues from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran found that among 858 rheumatology patients who took part in a telephone interview in July 2020, just 6.5% reported nonadherence to treatment, defined as a 20% or greater change in the dose or frequency of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine, glucocorticoids, conventional DMARDs, or biologics.

The study authors note in a correspondence to the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases that complete discontinuation was the most common pattern of treatment nonadherence, reported by 58.9% of the 56 participants with nonadherence, and the most common reason was fear of the immunosuppressive effects of medication, cited by 62.5%. In all, 9.6% of nonadherent patients experienced exacerbation of rheumatic disease symptoms, and 0.8% of the study population developed COVID-19.

“The data from this study showed that medication non-adherence was not common within 6 months after the issue of COVID-19 is widely discussed in the media,” say Mahdavi and team. However, they caution that the long-term impact of COVID-19 on medication adherence is not yet known.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2020 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

17 September 2020: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all healthcare professionals across the globe. Medicine Matters’ focus, in this difficult time, is the dissemination of the latest data to support you in your research and clinical practice, based on the scientific literature. We will update the information we provide on the site, as the data are published. However, please refer to your own professional and governmental guidelines for the latest guidance in your own country.

Ann Rheum Dis 2020; doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-218756

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