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Real-World Experience With Tofacitinib Dose De-Escalation in Patients

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Real-World Experience With Tofacitinib Dose De-Escalation in Patients With Moderate and Severe Ulcerative Colitis

Amy Yu, Nghiem B. Ha, Bingyan Shi, Yao-Wen Cheng, Uma Mahadevan, Kendall R. Beck

Published on May 13, 2023

Background & Aims:

Tofacitinib is associated with sustained steroid-free remission in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), with the lowest effective dose recommended for maintenance therapy. However, there are limited real-world data to guide decisions on the optimal maintenance regimen. We aimed to evaluate predictors and outcomes of disease activity after tofacitinib dose de-escalation in this population.


Included were adults with moderate–severe UC treated with tofacitinib between June 2012 and January 2022. The primary outcome was evidence of UC disease activity–related events: hospitalization/surgery, corticosteroid initiation, tofacitinib dose increase, or therapy switch.


Among 162 patients, 52% continued 10 mg twice daily while 48% underwent dose de-escalation to 5 mg twice daily. Cumulative incidence rates of UC events at 12 months were similar in patients with and without dose de-escalation (56% vs 58%; P = .81). In univariable Cox regression among patients with dose de-escalation, an induction course with 10 mg twice daily for more than 16 weeks was protective of UC events (hazard ratio [HR], 0.37; 95% CI, 0.16–0.85) while ongoing severe disease (Mayo 3) was associated with UC events (HR, 6.41; 95% 95% CI, 2.23–18.44), which remained significant after adjusting for age, sex, duration of induction course, and corticosteroid use at dose de-escalation (HR, 6.05; 95% CI, 2.00–18.35). Twenty-nine percent of patients with UC events had their dose re-escalated to 10 mg twice daily, with only 63% able to recapture clinical response at 12 months.


In this real-world cohort, we observed a 56% cumulative incidence of UC events at 12 months in patients with tofacitinib dose de-escalation. Observed factors associated with UC events after dose de-escalation included induction course for fewer than 16 weeks and active endoscopic disease 6 months after initiation.


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