Leflunomide to Treat Uveitis
This study will investigate the safety and effectiveness of the drug Leflunomide to treat uveitis-an inflammation of the eye caused by an immune system abnormality. Leflunomide suppresses immune system activity and has been shown to control autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis (joint inflammation), in animals. It has also improved symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and the Food and Drug Administration has approved it for treating patients with this disease. Eye and joint inflammation may have similar causes, and medicines for arthritis often help patients with eye inflammation. This study will examine whether Leflunomide can help patients with uveitis.
Patients with uveitis who are not responding well to steroid treatment and patients who have side effects from other medicines used to treat uveitis (such as cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate or azathioprine) or have refused treatment because of possible side effects of these medicines may be eligible for this study. Candidates will be screened with a medical history, physical examination, blood test and eye examination. The eye exam includes a check of vision and eye pressure, examination of the back of the eye (retina) with an ophthalmoscope and the front of the eye with a microscope. They will also undergo a procedure called fluorescein angiography to look at the blood vessels of the eye. A dye called sodium fluorescein is injected into the bloodstream through a vein. After the dye reaches the blood vessels of the eye, photographs are taken of the retina.
Study participants will be divided into two groups. One group will take 100 milligrams of Leflunomide once a day for 3 days and then 20 milligrams once a day for 6 months. The other group will take a placebo-a pill that looks like the Leflunomide pill but does not contain the medicine. All patients in both groups will also take prednisone. Patients will have follow-up examinations at weeks 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 24 (6 months) of the study. Each follow-up visit will include a repeat of the screening exams and an evaluation of side effects or discomfort from the medicine. Those who do well and want to continue their assigned treatment after 6 months can continue that treatment for another 6 months and will have follow-up exams at months 9 and 12.
|Study Design:||Primary Purpose: Treatment|
|Official Title:||Pilot Study of Leflunomide for the Treatment of Uveitis|
|Study Start Date:||March 1999|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||February 2003|
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00001863
|United States, Maryland|
|National Eye Institute (NEI)|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|