ABOUT THIS STUDY
- Age over 18 years
- Synovial swelling of at least 1 joint confirmed by clinical assessment
- Duration of symptoms attributable to inflammatory joint disease (pain, swelling or early morning stiffness of >1 hour) of < 12 weeks.
- Seropositivity for RF and anti-CCP Ab
- Women of childbearing potential or men capable of fathering children must be using adequate birth control measures (eg, abstinence, oral contraceptives, intrauterine device, barrier method with spermicide, surgical sterilization) during the study.
- Female subjects of childbearing potential must test negative for pregnancy
- Previous history of inflammatory arthritis.
- Previous use of DMARDs or anti-TNF-agents.
- Any current inflammatory condition with signs or symptoms that might confound the
diagnosis (e.g. connective tissue disorders).
- Clinical evidence of latent or active granulomatous infection, including TB,
histoplasmosis, or coccidioidomycosis, prior to study entry.
- Administration, or expected administration, of any live virus or bacterial vaccination
within 3 months before the first administration of study agent, or during the trial.
- A history of an infected joint prosthesis, or administration of antibiotics for a
suspected infection of a joint prosthesis, if that prosthesis has not been removed or
- Known infection with HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C.
- A serious infection that in the opinion of the investigator precludes receipt of a TNF
- Serious and uncontrolled co-existing disease that in the opinion of the investigator
preclude the use of TNF-blocking medication, methotrexate or depomedrone (including
pulmonary disease on chest radiograph, congestive cardiac failure (NYHA grade 3 or 4),
history of demyelinating disease such as multiple sclerosis or optic neuritis).
- Bleeding disorder of the use of anti-coagulants
- Any known malignancy or a history of malignancy within the previous 5 years (with the
exception of a basal cell carcinoma that has been treated with no evidence of
- Any other contraindication to etanercept, methotrexate or parenteral depomedrone.
- Patients will also be excluded with the following laboratory results: haemoglobin <8.5
gm/dl, total white cell count <3.5 x 109/litre, serum transaminase value more than
twice the upper limit of normal, and serum creatinine >150 micromoles/litre.
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