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Popular Crohn's, Colitis Drugs Not Linked to Short-Term Cancer Risk: Study

Posted 18 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 18, 2014 – A popular class of drugs used to treat inflammatory bowel disease isn't linked to an increase in the short-term risk of cancer, Danish researchers report. Researchers found that people with Crohn's disease or colitis who received the drugs – tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) antagonists – had about the same risk of cancer as other people with these inflammatory bowel diseases who were not treated with the medication. The drugs work by interrupting the function of TNF-a, a substance used by the immune system to increase inflammation. "Treatment with these drugs inhibits the inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract thereby leading to reduced symptoms," said lead author Dr. Nynne Nyboe Andersen of the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen. The problem is that TNF-a also serves a key role in protecting the body against cancer, raising concerns that ... Read more

Related support groups: Humira, Enbrel, Crohn's Disease, Remicade, Ulcerative Colitis, Colorectal Cancer, Cimzia, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Simponi, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Certolizumab

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

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

Humira's Approval Widened to Include Ulcerative Colitis

Posted 30 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 – Humira (adalimumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis in adults, the agency said Friday. Humira – a type of drug called an anti-tumor necrosis factor that's designed to suppress abnormal inflammatory and immune responses – has already been approved to treat a host of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and plaque psoriasis. Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and ulcers in the inner lining of the large intestine. With common symptoms including unusual stool frequency and rectal bleeding, it affects about 620,000 people in the United States, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The most common side effects of Humira include infection, injection-site reaction, headache and rash, according to an FDA news release. The drug is manufactured by Abbott ... Read more

Related support groups: Humira, Ulcerative Colitis, Adalimumab

FDA Approves Humira to Treat Ulcerative Colitis

Posted 28 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

September 28, 2012 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use of Humira (adalimumab) to include treatment of moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis in adults. Humira is approved to control ulcerative colitis when immunosuppressant medicines like corticosteroids, azathioprine, and 6-mercaptopurine have not worked. The drug is an anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) that blocks proteins that play an important role in abnormal inflammatory and immune responses. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the inner lining of the large intestine. It is one of two main forms of chronic inflammatory bowel disease and affects about 620,000 Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health. “Each patient with ulcerative colitis experiences the disease differently, and treatment must be adjusted to meet each individual’s nee ... Read more

Related support groups: Humira, Ulcerative Colitis, Humira Pen, Adalimumab

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, Gengraf, Golimumab, Trexall, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Sandimmune

Humira Might Help Kids With Tough-to-Treat Crohn's Disease

Posted 9 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 – The "biologic" drug Humira could be an effective therapy for children with tough-to-treat Crohn's disease, a new study finds. Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the digestive tract that can lead to swelling, pain and ulcers. Although the disease can affect any part of the digestive tract, the most common spot is the small intestine. The new study revealed that treatment with Humira (adalimumab), could help children with Crohn's stay in remission without stunting their growth or delaying puberty, as can happen with other drugs currently used to treat the disease. One expert not connected to the study welcomed the findings. "This drug helps expand the available treatments to control inflammation in Crohn's disease," said Dr. Joseph Levy, a pediatric gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, in New York City. "This is a welcome addition and it will improve ... Read more

Related support groups: Humira, Crohn's Disease, Adalimumab

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, Methylprednisolone, Prednisolone, Cortisone, Hydrocortisone, Medrol, Dexamethasone, Triamcinolone, Betamethasone, Decadron, Cimzia, Entocort, Budesonide, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Simponi

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, Cimzia, Simponi, Azathioprine, 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

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Crohn's Disease, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Plaque Psoriasis, Crohn's Disease - Maintenance, Psoriasis, Crohn's Disease - Acute, Spondyloarthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

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