Allergic reactions and serious infections from DMARDS

Question

Ive been on 15mg of MTX for 2 years but need more help. My Rhematologist has suggested anti TNF. Is it true that there are more side effects in terms of allergic reactions and serious infections with Humira Than with Enbrel? Also I asked about the TB test and my RA team don’t do it!! I live in the UK.

Answer

Most DMARD medications that are used to treat RA are associated with infections that can be severe. Patients with RA are also predisposed to increased infections becasue of their condition even without the effects of medications.? Increased rates of infection have been seen in? clinical trials and with post marketing surveilance.? These may be typical bacterial infections and atypical infections including certain fungla infections and tuberculosis.? Most now feel that the risks of the three approved TNF antagonists in terms of infection are quite similar. It is very important to be screeded for tuberculosis exposure before beginning any of these agents.? Perhaps your medical doctor could perform the test for you.

Clifton Bingham, III, MD

About Clifton Bingham, III, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Director - Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center