Baricitinib may alter lipid profiles in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Baricitinib treatment appears to be associated with increases in circulating lipid levels, including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but not in LDL-C:HDL-C ratio, according to a study.
Researchers analysed lipid data from phase II and III studies of oral baricitinib at 4-mg (n=997) and 2-mg (n=479) doses administered once daily in patients with moderate-to-severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Additionally, they evaluated lipoprotein particle size and number and GlycA using nuclear magnetic resonance in one phase III study.
Pooled data revealed increased levels of total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C and triglycerides following treatment with baricitinib. On the other hand, the drug did not significantly alter LDL-C:HDL-C ratio. Lipid levels plateaued by 12 weeks of treatment.
Nuclear magnetic resonance data showed that increases in HDL occurred across all particle sizes, whereas elevations in LDL were limited to larger particles, with small LDL particle levels decreasing. LDL increases were reversed in response to statin therapy.
The present data may reflect a positive impact on aspects of the lipid paradox observed in RA, researchers said.
Then again, additional studies investigating the effects of baricitinib on cholesterol and lipoprotein metabolism, as well as those evaluating cardiovascular event rates during long-term treatment, are warranted to further characterize the findings of the present study and their possible clinical implications, researchers added.