For patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), anifrolumab is safe in the long term, according to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology to coincide with the 2022 annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. Kenneth C. Kalunian, MD, and colleagues examined the long-term safety and tolerability of anifrolumab versus placebo in patients with SLE who completed a trial and were enrolled in a 3-year long-term extension (LTE) study. In the LTE study, patients continued anifrolumab 300 mg, switched
from anifrolumab 150 mg to 300 mg, or were randomly reassigned from placebo to anifrolumab 300 mg or to continue placebo. Exposure-adjusted incidence rates (EAIRs) of serious adverse events (AEs) were 8.5 and 11.2 per 100 patient-years for anifrolumab and placebo, respectively; AEs leading to treatment discontinuation were 2.5 and 3.2, respectively. The groups had comparable EAIRs of non-opportunistic serious infections (3.7 and 3.6 with anifrolumab and placebo, respectively). Exposure-adjusted event rates of COVID-19- related AEs were 15.5 and 9.8 for anifrolumab and placebo, respectively.