Background: Obeticholic acid (OCA) and fibrates are second-line therapies for patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) with an inadequate response to ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). Aim: To know whether OCA and fibrates, administered together in combination with UDCA, have additive beneficial effects in patients with difficult-to-treat PBC. Methods: PBC patients treated for ≥3 months with UDCA, OCA and fibrates (bezafibrate or fenofibrate) due to failure of either second-line therapy were included in a multicentre, uncontrolled retrospective cohort study. Changes in biochemical liver tests and pruritus were analysed using a generalised linear mixed-effect model. Results: Among 58 patients included, half received OCA as second-line and fibrates as third-line therapy (Group OCA-Fibrate), while the other half had the inverse therapeutic sequence (Group Fibrate-OCA). The mean duration of triple therapy was 11 months (range 3-26). Compared to dual therapy, triple therapy was associated with a significant gain in alkaline phosphatase (ALP) reduction: 22% per first year (95% CI 12%-31%), an effect that was stronger in OCA-Fibrate than in Fibrate-OCA group. Triple therapy was associated with a 3.4 (95% CI 1.4-8.2) odds ratio (OR) of reaching normal ALP and with a significant decrease in gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and total bilirubin. The ORs of achieving the Paris-2 and Toronto criteria of adequate biochemical response were 6.8 (95% CI 2.8-16.7) and 9.2 (95% CI 3.4-25.1) respectively. Finally, triple therapy significantly improved pruritus in OCA-Fibrate but not in Fibrate-OCA group. Conclusions: Triple therapy with UDCA, OCA and fibrates is able to normalise biochemical liver tests and improve pruritus in patients with difficult-to-treat PBC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)