Clinical Drug Investigation

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 421–428 | Cite as

Comparison of the Efficacy and Safety of Tofacitinib and Apremilast in Patients with Active Psoriatic Arthritis: A Bayesian Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

  • Gwan Gyu SongEmail author
  • Young Ho Lee
Systematic Review



Tofacitinib and apremilast have shown considerable efficacy in placebo-controlled trials of active psoriatic arthritis, but the relative efficacy and safety remain unclear because of a lack of head-to-head comparisons.


The aim of this study was to assess the relative efficacy and safety of tofacitinib and apremilast at different doses in patients with active psoriatic arthritis.


We performed a Bayesian network meta-analysis to combine evidence from randomized controlled trials for examination of the efficacy and safety of tofacitinib 10 mg, tofacitinib 5 mg, apremilast 30 mg, and apremilast 20 mg in psoriatic arthritis.


Eight randomized controlled trials including 3086 patients met the inclusion criteria. There were ten pairwise comparisons including six direct comparisons of five interventions. All the interventions achieved a significant American College of Rheumatology 20 response compared with placebo. Tofacitinib 10 mg and apremilast 30 mg were among the most effective treatments for active psoriatic arthritis, followed by tofacitinib 5 mg, and apremilast 20 mg. The ranking probability based on the surface under the cumulative ranking curve (SUCRA) indicated that tofacitinib 10 mg had the highest probability of being the best treatment in terms of the American College of Rheumatology 20 response rate (SUCRA = 0.785). This was followed by apremilast 30 mg (SUCRA = 0.670), tofacitinib 5 mg (SUCRA = 0.596), apremilast 20 mg (SUCRA = 0.448), and placebo (SUCRA = 0.001). We observed no significant differences in the incidence of serious adverse events after treatment with tofacitinib 10 mg, apremilast 30 mg, tofacitinib 5 mg, apremilast 20 mg, or placebo.


In patients with active psoriatic arthritis, tofacitinib 10 mg and apremilast 30 mg were the most efficacious interventions and were not associated with a significant risk of serious adverse events.


Compliance with Ethical Standards


No sources of funding were received for the preparation of this article or conduct of the study.

Conflict of Interest

Gwan Gyu Song and Young Ho Lee have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RheumatologyKorea University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal MedicineKorea University Anam Hospital, Korea University College of MedicineSeoulKorea

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