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Certain Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs May Also Protect Patients' Hearts, Studies Find

Posted 27 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Oct. 26 – Drugs that people with rheumatoid arthritis use to help ease the symptoms of the disease might also help ward off heart trouble, two new studies find. Researchers in Sweden found that so-called "biologic" drugs, known as tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, or anti-TNFs, slightly reduce the risk for acute coronary syndrome – a condition that includes angina and heart attack in which blood supply to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked. In another study, British scientists also found taking these drugs was associated with a lower risk for heart attack in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The findings were to be presented Saturday at the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting in San Diego. Findings presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. The roughly 1.3 million Americans affected by the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Cimzia, Simponi, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Certolizumab

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment May Not Work As Well for Heavier Patients

Posted 18 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 18 – Overweight and obese people with rheumatoid arthritis are less likely to go into remission in the early stages of the disease and require much more drug treatment than people with normal weight, according to a new study. The study included nearly 350 people with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who underwent a treatment meant to achieve remission of their disease. The strategy included strict follow-up visits, as well as treatment with steroids and the drug methotrexate, combined with anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy if a good response didn't occur. Anti-TNF drugs are used to reduce inflammation in a variety of conditions. At six and 12 months of follow-up, overweight and obese patients had lower rates of remission. After 12 months, a higher percentage of overweight and obese patients were still on anti-TNF therapy, compared to normal-weight patients. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Cimzia, Simponi, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Trexall, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Folex PFS, Certolizumab, Rheumatrex Dose Pack

Many Stop Taking Rheumatoid Arthritis Meds Too Soon: Study

Posted 14 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 14 – About half of rheumatoid arthritis patients stopped taking their medications within two years after they started them, a new study finds. Rheumatoid arthritis affects about one in 100 people worldwide and can cause progressive joint destruction, deformity, pain and stiffness. The disease can reduce physical function, quality of life and life expectancy. The main reason about one-third of patients discontinued their medications was because the drugs lost their effectiveness, the study authors found. Other reasons included safety concerns (20 percent), doctor preference (nearly 28 percent), patient preference (about 18 percent) and access to treatment (9 percent), according to the study results, which were presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), in Madrid, Spain. Rheumatoid arthritis "is a progressive disease, which, ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Cimzia, Simponi, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Certolizumab

Standard Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy as Good as Costlier Newcomer: Study

Posted 12 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 11 – Newer, costlier treatment for rheumatoid arthritis appears no better than an older, less-expensive regimen for people who don't respond to the first-line drug methotrexate, a new study suggests. "Newer isn't always better," said researcher Dr. Ted Mikuls, an associate professor in the rheumatology division at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha. "Some of the older medications can be effective." Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation in the joints, resulting in swelling, stiffness, pain and reduced joint function. It can also affect other parts of the body. "We compared two different ways of treating rheumatoid arthritis – one that included a new biologic [medication] with an older, more conventional oral medication," Mikuls explained. "We basically showed that at the end of the day patients, regardless of what they got, looked very similar in terms ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Enbrel, Plaquenil, Hydroxychloroquine, Sulfasalazine, Azulfidine, Sulfazine, Etanercept, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Trexall, Quineprox, Plaquenil Sulfate, Rheumatrex Dose Pack, Azulfidine EN-tabs, Folex PFS

Newer Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Don't Seem to Increase Risk of Shingles

Posted 5 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 5 – The newest medications used to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis don't appear to raise the risk of developing shingles, new research indicates. There has been concern that these medications, called anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drugs, might increase the chances of a shingles infection (also known as herpes zoster) because they work by suppressing a part of the immune system that causes the autoimmune attack. "These are commonly used drugs for people with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, and the issue was whether or not they increased the risk of [shingles]. We found there is no increased risk when using these drugs, which was reassuring," said study author Dr. Kevin Winthrop, associate professor of infectious disease and public health and preventive medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. Results ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Herpes Zoster, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Cimzia, Simponi, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Certolizumab

Newer Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Don't Raise Cancer Risk: Study

Posted 6 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 – A new review finds that rheumatoid arthritis medications known as biologics don't raise the risk of cancer, contrary to what some previous research has suggested. Rheumatoid arthritis affects an estimated 1 percent of the general population, with women three times more likely to have it. Different from age-related osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is debilitating autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of the lining of the joints. Biologics work by targeting specific parts of the immune system involved in the inflammation process. Previous studies have raised questions about whether the drugs might boost the risk of cancer. The new study appears in the Sept. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers, led by a researcher at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, looked at 63 randomized controlled trials of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Rituxan, Orencia, Cimzia, Simponi, Rituximab, Actemra, Infliximab, Etanercept, Kineret, Tocilizumab, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Certolizumab, Abatacept, Anakinra

Newer Psoriasis Drugs May Lower Heart Attack Risk for Patients

Posted 20 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 20 – People with psoriasis who take a new class of drugs known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors may be at a lower risk for heart attack than their counterparts who only use topical medications to treat this inflammatory skin condition, a new study shows. And patients taking older systemic medicines and phototherapy may also have a reduced heart attack risk compared to those using topical preparations, the study found. Of 8,845 study participants, about 57 percent were treated with topical therapy only, 19 percent received a TNF inhibitor for at least two months and about 24 percent were treated with other medications or phototherapy. People who were treated with TNF inhibitors had a 50 percent lower risk, and those treated with other psoriasis drugs or phototherapy had a 46 percent lower risk for heart attack, than those who used topical medications alone. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Psoriasis, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Cyclosporine, Cimzia, Simponi, Soriatane, Infliximab, Neoral, Etanercept, Acitretin, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Gengraf, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Sandimmune, Soriatane CK

Study Compares Safety of 'Biologic' Meds for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted 8 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 – A new safety analysis of three powerful "biologic" drugs for rheumatoid arthritis finds no difference in terms of risk of death for the patients who use them. The study was published Aug. 8 in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. The three drugs studied include Humira, Enbrel and Remicade, all from a relatively new class of medications called TNF-alpha inhibitors. The Swedish research team note that early intervention with these drugs is now recommend to slow progression of rheumatoid arthritis, which causes painful inflammation in the joints. However, "understanding risk versus benefits of treatment with the most commonly prescribed biologics is important for physicians and patients in managing rheumatoid arthritis," study lead author Dr. Julia Fridman Simard, of the Clinical Epidemiology Unit at the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, said in a journal news ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Cimzia, Simponi, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Certolizumab

Arthritis in Children Linked to Infections

Posted 1 May 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 1 – Children with juvenile arthritis have higher rates of bacterial infection when hospitalized than children without arthritis, a new study says. While taking high-dose steroids was associated with a higher infection risk among kids with arthritis, other arthritis drugs – methotrexate and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) inhibitors – were not. Researchers analyzed Medicaid data on nearly 8,500 children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and more than 360,000 arthritis-free children. Idiopathic means that a disease occurs without a known cause. Pharmacy claims were examined to determine arthritis patients' use of drugs that suppress the immune system, including high-dose glucocorticoids (steroids), methotrexate and TNF inhibitors, according to the study published May 1 in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. Kids with arthritis who were not currently treated with ... Read more

Related support groups: Prednisone, Methotrexate, Bacterial Infection, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Prednisolone, Methylprednisolone, Cortisone, Hydrocortisone, Medrol, Triamcinolone, Dexamethasone, Betamethasone, Decadron, Cimzia, Budesonide, Entocort, Simponi, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Steroids May Help Some With Sciatica

Posted 16 Apr 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 16 – New research suggests that epidural steroids provided better relief for some patients with sciatica, a searing pain that shoots from the lower back straight down the leg, than Enbrel, a newer type of anti-inflammatory drug. Yet the differences were "modest" and did not reach statistical significance. And while more patients reported pain relief one month after receiving epidural steroids, the relief didn't necessarily last. At six months, steroids weren't any better than Enbrel (etanercept) or a third treatment tested, injections containing saline and a local anesthetic. "We found a pretty strong suggestion that steroids were better than both of the other treatments, and the etanercept wasn't better than saline, in the short-term," said study author Dr. Steven Cohen, a professor of anesthesia at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and director of ... Read more

Related support groups: Prednisone, Enbrel, Sciatica, Prednisolone, Methylprednisolone, Cortisone, Hydrocortisone, Medrol, Triamcinolone, Dexamethasone, Betamethasone, Decadron, Entocort, Budesonide, Solu-Medrol, Cortef, Entocort EC, Celestone, Orapred, Depo-Medrol

Higher Cancer Rate Seen in Children With Juvenile Arthritis

Posted 13 Feb 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 13 – The cancer rate in children with juvenile arthritis is four times higher than in other children, a new study says. This increased risk of cancer isn't necessarily linked to arthritis treatments, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, according to the study published online Feb. 13 in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. In the United States, TNF inhibitors carry a "black box" warning about the potential cancer risk associated with the drugs. In this study, the researchers analyzed 2000-2005 Medicaid data from more than 7,800 children with juvenile arthritis and comparison groups of about 650,000 children with asthma and nearly 322,000 children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The incidence rate of probable and highly probable cancers in children with juvenile arthritis was 4.4 times higher than in the other groups of children. Juvenile ... Read more

Related support groups: Enbrel, Etanercept, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

FDA Medwatch Alert: Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blockers, Azathioprine and/or Mercaptopurine: Update on Reports of Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma in Adolescents and Young Adults

Posted 6 Nov 2011 by Drugs.com

  [UPDATED 11/04/2011]  Healthcare professionals should remain vigilant for cases of malignancy in patients treated with TNF blockers, and report such cases to MedWatch. The reports should include: patient characteristics (age, gender, no patient identifiers) risk factors for malignancy exposure to other immune suppressing products or products with risk of malignancy indication for TNF blocker treatment TNF blocker exposure (duration, dose) cancer diagnosis (date of diagnosis, stage) biopsy results outcomes of malignancy (treatments, event outcome)   [Posted 04/14/2011] ISSUE: FDA continues to receive reports of a rare cancer of white blood cells (known as Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma or HSTCL, primarily in adolescents and young adults being treated for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with medicines known as tumor necrosis factors (TNF) blockers, as well as with azathioprine, ... Read more

Related support groups: Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Imuran, Azathioprine, Cimzia, Simponi, Mercaptopurine, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Azasan, Golimumab, Purinethol, Certolizumab

TNF Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis Boosts Skin Cancer Risk

Posted 8 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7 – Treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors appears to increase their risk of developing skin cancer, a new review of prior research indicates. However, TNF inhibitors, which include infliximab (Remicade), adalimunab (Humira), and etanercept (Enbrel), do not appear to boost the risk for developing other forms of cancer, the researchers added. The findings stem from an analysis of 21 previous studies conducted between 1998 and 2010, as well as eight study summaries that had been presented at research conferences during the same timeframe. All the studies had focused on the potential for cancer risk in association with the use of standard TNF inhibitors. "This systematic review and meta analysis provides reassurance to physicians and patients that the treatment of [rheumatoid arthritis] with TNF inhibitors does not increase ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab

FDA Medwatch Alert: Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNFα) Blockers: Label Change - Boxed Warning Updated for Risk of Infection from Legionella and Listeria

Posted 8 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

including Remicade (infliximab), Enbrel (etanercept), Humira (adalimumab), Cimzia (certolizumab pegol), and Simponi (golimumab) ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that the Boxed Warning for the entire class of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNFα) blockers has been updated to include the risk of infection from two bacterial pathogens, Legionella and Listeria. In addition, the Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions sections of the labels for all of the TNFα blockers have been revised so that they contain consistent information about the risk for serious infections and the associated disease-causing pathogens. Patients treated with TNFα blockers are at increased risk for developing serious infections involving multiple organ systems and sites that may lead to hospitalization or death due to bacterial, mycobacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic, and other opportunistic pathogens. BA ... Read more

Related support groups: Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Cimzia, Simponi, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Certolizumab

Some Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis May Cut Diabetes Risk

Posted 22 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 21 – Some medications commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis may help patients with these autoimmune disorders lower their risk of developing diabetes, researchers say. New research found that a particular class of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine can reduce diabetes risk by 38 percent and 46 percent, respectively, in people with rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis. "If you have rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis, you may be at an increased risk of diabetes, and a number of different antirheumatic drugs may reduce your future risk of diabetes," said study author Dr. Daniel Solomon, chief of clinical science in rheumatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. However, Solomon was quick to point out that this was an observational study, and does ... Read more

Related support groups: Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Plaquenil, Hydroxychloroquine, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Quineprox, Plaquenil Sulfate

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