Sulfasalazine is a potent inhibitor of the reduced folate carrier: implications for combination therapies with methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis.
Heijden, J. van der
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400-fold for SSZ-resistant cells in the presence of 2.5 mM of SSZ. Importantly, along with diminished efficacy of MTX, evidence for cellular folate depletion was obtained by the demonstration of an SSZ dose-dependent decrease in leucovorin accumulation. CONCLUSION: At clinically relevant plasma concentrations, interactions of SSZ with RFC provide a biochemical rationale for 2 important clinical observations: 1) the onset of (sub)clinical folate deficiency during SSZ treatment, and 2) the lack of additivity/synergism of the combination of SSZ and MTX when these disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are administered simultaneously. Thus, when considering use of these drugs in combination therapies, the present results provide a rationale both for the use of folate supplementation and for spacing administration of these drugs over time.