Home > Arthritis News > 2006 Rituximab Receives FDA Approval for Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now approved rituximab (Rituxan®) in combination with methotrexate for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to one or more […]
Home > Arthritis News > 2006 Sleep Disturbance is Increased in Rheumatoid Arthritis Sleep quality has a profound affect on pain perception and mood, and poor sleep itself may affect immune function by increasing allostatic load. All of these effects may relate to the RA disease process. However, little investigation into sleep disturbance has been […]
Safety data obtained from randomized clinical trials designed to evaluate the efficacy of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) drugs can be misleading for several reasons. Often, the studies are short term (6 months or less), and are highly selective of the subjects included (usually subjects with very active disease and with few medical comorbidities). In addition, background DMARDs are usually restricted to methotrexate.
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) is a highly inflammatory cytokine with an important role in coordinating the inflammatory response seen in the axial skeleton of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Two biologic inhibitors of this cytokine, etanercept (Enbrel) and infliximab (Remicade), have been shown to be effective at reducing the subjective symptoms and reducing the systemic inflammatory response in AS in randomized clinical trials.
In addition to analgesic effects, animal studies have shown that inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is chemoprotective against colonic adenomas. In humans, the use of the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (Celebrex) has demonstrated anti-tumor activity in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis, a condition characterized by numerous colonic adenomas that often lead to frank colon cancer early in life.
The association of glucocorticoid use, low bone mineral density (BMD), and osteoporotic fracture is well established. However, the use of bone-protective measures for users of glucocorticoids has traditionally been sub-optimal. The 1996 American College of Rheumatology Guidelines recommend routine BMD testing and liberal use of anti-osteoporosis medications in chronic glucocorticoid users, yet the effectiveness of these recommendations in clinical practice have not been systematically evaluated.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved automated delivery systems for both Humira® (adalimumab) and Enbrel® (etanercept). The Humira Pen and Enbrel SureClickTM will be available for patient use in the first week of August 2006. In both systems, the medication is in a prefilled pen-like device and the needle is not visible to […]
Changes in disease activity during pregnancy and the peri-partum period have long been recognized features of systemic autoimmune disease. Moreover, as certain autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), frequently affect women of childbearing age, there is the potential for the disease to affect pregnancy outcomes. However, despite the frequency […]
Gastrointestinal complications, including esophageal mucosal ulceration, are the most frequent complications of bisphosphonate therapy, commonly used to treat osteoporosis, metabolic bone diseases (such as Pagets disease), multiple myeloma, and to inhibit metastatic solid tumor progression. Recent case reports have emphasized a less frequent complication of bisphosphonate therapy: osteonecrosis of the jaws. However, due to its rarity, little is know about the epidemiology of this potentially troublesome complication.
Hematologic malignancies, particularly lymphomas, are more prevalent in RA patients. Case reports have suggested an association between RA therapeutics and the development of lymphoma, although it has been problematic using conventional epidemiologic methods to disassociate the potential for the RA disease process, presumably mediated through chronic systemic inflammation, to contribute to this risk. These concerns have limited the use of RA therapies in some patients.