Transition to rilonacept monotherapy from oral therapies in patients with recurrent pericarditis

Antonio Brucato, Alistair Wheeler, Sushil Allen Luis, Antonio Abbate, Paul C. Cremer, Liangxing Zou, Antonella Insalaco, Martin Lewinter, Basil S. Lewis, David Lin, Stephen Nicholls, Massimo Pancrazi, Allan L. Klein, Massimo Imazio, John F. Paolini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective Polypharmacy management of recurrent pericarditis (RP) often involves long-term therapies, often with negative effects. Slow tapering of oral therapies is often required to avoid recurrence. A post hoc analysis of the phase III trial Rilonacept inHibition of interleukin-1 Alpha and beta for recurrent Pericarditis: a pivotal Symptomatology and Outcomes Study (RHAPSODY) evaluated investigator approaches to transitioning to IL-1 blockade monotherapy with rilonacept, which was hypothesised to allow accelerated withdrawal of common multidrug pericarditis regimens. Methods RHAPSODY was a multicentre (Australia, Israel, Italy, USA), double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised-withdrawal trial in adults and adolescents with RP. Investigators initiated rilonacept at the labelled dose level and discontinued oral pericarditis therapies during the 12-week run-in; randomised patients received study drug as monotherapy. Time to rilonacept monotherapy was quantified in patients receiving multidrug regimens at baseline who achieved rilonacept monotherapy during run-in. Results In 86 enrolled patients, mean time to rilonacept monotherapy was 7.9 weeks, with no recurrences. Of these, 64% (n=55) entered on multidrug regimens: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) plus colchicine (44% (24/55)), colchicine plus glucocorticoids (24% (13/55)), or NSAIDs, colchicine, plus glucocorticoids (33% (18/55)). Investigators transitioned patients receiving colchicine and glucocorticoids at baseline to rilonacept monotherapy without recurrence regardless of taper approach: sequential (n=14; median, 7.7 weeks) or concurrent (n=17; median, 8.0 weeks). Median time to rilonacept monotherapy was similar regardless of glucocorticoid dose and duration: ≤15 mg/day (n=21): 7.3 weeks; >15 mg/day (n=18): 8.0 weeks; long-term (≥28 days): 7.6 weeks. Conclusions Rapid discontinuation of oral RP therapies while transitioning to rilonacept monotherapy was feasible without triggering pericarditis recurrence. Trial registration number NCT03737110.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 31 2022


  • pericarditis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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