Clinical Edge

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Slow taper off antimalarial is best to avoid lupus flare during remission

Key clinical point: Slow withdrawal from antimalarial medication after at least 1 year of remission does not increase the risk of lupus flare, nor does the discontinuation of hydroxychloroquine in older patients.

Major finding: Lupus patients who tapered off AMs had fewer flares (45.9%), compared with patients who withdrew abruptly (72.6%).

Study details: A retrospective analysis of patients on antimalarial medications from a long-term observational cohort study at the University of Toronto’s lupus clinic.

Disclosures: One of the authors of the study presented at ACR 2020 acknowledged receiving research support and consulting fees from various pharmaceutical companies. The HCQ study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; its authors declared no conflicts of interest.


Papachristos D et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020;72(suppl 10). Abstract 0983.