How is leflunomide prescribed and used in Australia? Analysis of prescribing and adverse effect reporting.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the use of leflunomide in the Australian community since introduction in 2000. Trends in adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting were also studied.
METHODS: Annual Australian prescription and dispensing statistics were analysed. Drug utilisation was estimated as defined daily doses (DDD)/1000 inhabitants/day. ADR data from the Therapeutic Goods Administration's Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee (ADRAC) national monitoring system were compared with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Vigibase records.
RESULTS: Leflunomide use in Australia (dispensing data) increased from 0.2 in 2000 to 0.4 DDD/1000 inhabitants/day in 2002. The same overall pattern was observed in the 'authority to prescribe' data. From 2000-2002, prescribing of the starter pack (3 x 100 mg loading dose plus 30 x 20 mg tablets) declined (down 74%); likewise for the 20 mg (30 tablets) pack. Gradual increases were noted for the 10 mg (30 tablets) pack (up 40%). Approximately 135 reports, detailing about 370 individual ADR, were generated annually. Gastro-intestinal disorders predominated, accounting for 24% of reactions reported to ADRAC. Skin and appendages disorders constituted 14% of reported reactions. Deaths in leflunomide users were attributed to a combination of haematological and gastro-intestinal complications, but it was not possible to ascertain other medication usage or contributing factors. Trends observed with the ADRAC reports were consistent with the WHO database.
CONCLUSIONS: Leflunomide was the first registered DMARD in Australia in over a decade and its use has increased within the community. The ADR reports might have contributed to Australian rheumatologists gradually abandoning loading patients with high doses of leflunomide in favour of starting therapy at lower doses.
|ジャーナル名||Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety|
|投稿者||Chan, Vivien; Tett, Susan E|
|組織名||School of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland,;Australia.|