Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Sulphasalazine in ankylosing spondylitis: a double blind controlled study in 60 patients.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 11 October 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:911
  1. M Dougados,
  2. P Boumier,
  3. B Amor


    Sulphasalazine has been reported to be effective in ankylosing spondylitis with peripheral arthritis, but its efficacy in spondylitis is unknown. Thus 60 patients with active ankylosing spondylitis without peripheral arthritis or gastrointestinal symptoms were randomly allocated to one of two therapeutic groups. One group received 2 g sulphasalazine daily for six months and the other a placebo. Thirteen patients (six given placebo and seven given sulphasalazine) dropped out of the trial and were considered to be treatment failures. After six months' follow up efficacy was rated as good or very good by 15 of the 30 patients given sulphasalazine and by only six of the 30 given placebo (p less than 0.02). Furthermore, in the patients given sulphasalazine the daily consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, functional index, and plasma IgG concentrations had fallen significantly. These data suggest that sulphasalazine may be a safe and effective treatment for spondylitis in ankylosing spondylitis.