Newer Drugs In Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the joints, whereby chronic inflammation results in stiffness, pain, redness, and swelling. Joints involved in RA eventually become misshapen and misaligned; at one time, rheumatoid arthritis usually involves more than one joint. The therapeutic measures for rheumatoid arthritis as prescribed by Internal medicine specialist in Lahore are characterized by immune-suppressing drugs and lifestyle changes.
What are the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis results in stiffness of joints, with decreased mobility, tightness in the joints, pain and soreness. In the mornings and the evenings especially, the patient complains of fatigue. Rheumatoid arthritis gets its name from small nodules that form beneath the skin. Often in the acute attacks of disease, the patient loses weight, gets a low-grade fever, difficulty in sleeping and generalized body weakness. Unsurprisingly, rheumatoid arthritis patients often suffer from concurrent depression.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a lifelong disease with symptomatic management with the help of drugs.
How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?
In the last half-century, the treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis have increased tremendously. As mentioned before, the therapeutic measures are a combination of drugs and lifestyle changes. Exercise, healthy food, rest, medication, and at times surgery, make up a comprehensive form of management of rheumatoid arthritis. The goal of treatment is to maintain the mobility of the patient while minimizing pain, and joint deformity.
Rheumatoid arthritis has a hereditary element, which is why most cases get diagnosed timely. Early diagnosis and commencement of treatment are fundamental for good management and improving the quality of life of the patient.
As with all medications, there are certain side effects that may impact the body negatively. It is the discretion of the healthcare provider and the patient to weigh the benefits versus the risks and use the drugs wisely.
Newer drugs for rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is treated with a combination of drugs.
There are anti-inflammatory agents like NSAIDs, which ease the inflammation and pain of the patient. These are used along with corticosteroids that also minimize the inflammatory mediators, and are used mostly in acute attacks. Lastly, there are DMARDs—Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs that suppress the body’s immune system and alter the course of rheumatoid arthritis. DMARDs have a plethora of side effects, and should be used with caution.
According to a new clinical trial last year, a drug was recently approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis, as a second-line agent. This drug, known as otilimab works to greatly reduce the inflammatory mediator responsible for the swelling and pain. This inflammatory mediatory is known as GM-CSF, and otilimab, being a monoclonal antibody suppresses its formation.
Otilimab has been sponsored by the pharmaceutical company GSK and formed by the research team led by Professor Chris Buckley, at the Universities of Birmingham and Oxford.
In comparison to the placebo, otilimab showed promise in patients of rheumatoid arthritis. Inactive disease, otilimab led to a decrease in swelling of joints along with a significant reduction in pain and discomfort. For the patient, this is very important, as in the past the agents that reduced inflammation did not necessarily deal with pain as well. However, this agent has successfully managed to deal with both in the clinical trials.
The treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis are increasing day by day. Whether or not you qualify to take this new drug for disease management can only be determined by your healthcare provider or Internal medicine specialist in Karachi.
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