Safety Profile of Upadacitinib up to 3 Years in Psoriatic Arthritis: An Integrated Analysis of Two Pivotal Phase 3 Trials

Gerd R. Burmester, Kevin Winthrop, Ricardo Blanco, Peter Nash, Philippe Goupille, Valderilio F. Azevedo, Carlo Salvarani, Andrea Rubbert-Roth, Elizabeth Lesser, Ralph Lippe, Apinya Lertratanakul, Reva M. Mccaskill, John Liu, Eric M. Ruderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: This integrated analysis describes the safety profile of upadacitinib, an oral Janus kinase inhibitor, at 15 and 30 mg once daily for up to 3 years of exposure in patients with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) who had a prior inadequate response or intolerance to ≥ 1 non-biologic or biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug. Methods: Safety data were pooled and analyzed from two randomized, placebo-controlled phase 3 trials. Both trials evaluated upadacitinib 15 mg and 30 mg once daily, and one trial also evaluated adalimumab 40 mg every other week. Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) and laboratory data were summarized for four groups: pooled placebo, pooled upadacitinib 15 mg, pooled upadacitinib 30 mg, and adalimumab. TEAEs were reported as exposure-adjusted event rates (events per 100 patient-years [E/100 PY]) up to a data cut-off of June 29, 2020. Results: A total of 2257 patients received ≥ 1 dose of upadacitinib 15 mg (N = 907) or 30 mg (N = 921) for 2504.6 PY of exposure or adalimumab (N = 429) for 549.7 PY of exposure. Upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, and increased creatine phosphokinase (CPK) were the most common TEAEs with upadacitinib. Rates of malignancies, adjudicated major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) and venous thromboembolic events (VTEs), and deaths were similar across treatment groups. Rates of herpes zoster (HZ) and opportunistic infections (OI; excluding tuberculosis, HZ, and oral candidiasis) were higher with upadacitinib versus adalimumab. Serious infection, anemia, and CPK elevations were most frequent with upadacitinib 30 mg. Potentially clinically significant laboratory abnormalities were uncommon. Conclusions: Upadacitinib 15 mg and adalimumab had similar safety profiles with the exception of HZ and OIs, consistent with what was observed in rheumatoid arthritis. Rates of malignancies, MACEs, VTEs, and deaths were comparable among patients receiving upadacitinib and adalimumab. No new safety risks emerged with longer-term exposure to upadacitinib. Trial Registration Numbers: SELECT-PsA 1: NCT03104400; SELECT-PsA 2: NCT03104374.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-539
Number of pages19
JournalRheumatology and Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Adalimumab
  • JAK inhibitor
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • SELECT-PsA 1
  • SELECT-PsA 2
  • Safety
  • Upadacitinib

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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