Since I started this blog, there are already 4 posts wherein arthritis drugs were mentioned or discuss. And so in this resource –type entry, I would like to put those arthritis drugs on the spotlight.
Anti-TNF drugs are drugs that inhibit the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) thereby preventing chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Examples of TNF inhibitors that are currently approved by the FDA to be in the market are the following:
Infliximab (Remicade®)– a product of Centocor Pharmaceuticals. A biologic treatment used for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, Chron’s disease in adults, pediatric Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis and ankylosing spondylitis.
- moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults. HUMIRA can be used alone or with methotrexate or with certain other medicines. HUMIRA may prevent further damage to your bones and joints and may help your ability to perform daily activities.
- psoriatic arthritis (PsA). HUMIRA can be used alone or with certain other medicines. HUMIRA may prevent further damage to your bones and joints and may help your ability to perform daily activities.
- ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
- moderate to severe Crohn’s disease (CD) in adults who have not responded well to conventional treatments. HUMIRA is also approved for these adults who have lost response or are unable to tolerate infliximab.
Etanercept (Enbrel®) – a product of Amgen and Wyeth and a biologic oral medication for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), moderate to severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritisJRA), psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS DRUGS IN CLINICAL TRIALS
Tocilizumab – under the brand Actemra™ and is currently being applied by Roche for FDA approval for use in rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
Certolizumab Pegol (CIMZIA™) is in development for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, that when combined with a common DMARD methothrexate – may be safe and effective in the treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis.
DMARDs or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs are are a variety of medications that work by altering the immune system function to halt the underlying processes that cause certain forms of inflammatory arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis.
DMARDs are drugs not only treat arthritis symptoms, but they also can slow down progressive joint destruction. There are two kinds of DMARDs: synthetic and biologic.
The examples of synthetic DMARDs are the following:
Hydroxychloroquine (popular brand name: Plaquenil) is classified as an antimalarial medication that is useful in treating several forms of malaria as well as rheumatic diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Leflunomide (popualr brand name: Arava) is an oral medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis that works by suppressing your immune system. (RA is caused by an overactive immune system)
Methotrexate (popular brand name :Rheumatrex, Trexall) is classified as an antimetabolite drug, which means it is capable of blocking the metabolism of cells. As a result of this effect, it has been found helpful in treating certain diseases associated with abnormally rapid cell growth (cancer of the breast and psoriasis).
Sulfasalazine (popular brand name: Azulfidine) is is a prodrug, that is, it is not active in its ingested form. It is broken down by bacteria in the colon into two products: 5-aminosalicylic acid (5ASA), and sulfapyridine.
The beneficial effect of sulfasalazine is believed to be due to a local effect on the bowel, although there may also be a beneficial systemic immune-suppressant effect as well. Following oral administration, 33% of the sulfasalazine is absorbed, all of the sulfapyridine is absorbed, and about 33% of the 5ASA is absorbed. Sulfasalazine was approved by the FDA in 1950.
On the other hand, examples of biologic DMARDS are:
Abatacept (popualr brand: Orencia) is an injectable, synthetic (man-made) protein produced by recombinant DNA technology that is used for treating rheumatoid arthritis.
Adalimumab, example is the anti-TNF Humira that ha this year been approved by the FDA for Chron’s disease. (see above Anti-TNF therapy category for more info on HUMIRA)
Anakinra (popualr brand: Kineret) is a synthetic (man-made), injectable, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist that blocks the effects of human interleukin-1. It is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Etanercept (popular brand Enbrel) : see above anti-TNF category for more info on Etanercept.
Infliximab (popular brand: Remicade) : see the above anti-TNF category for more info.
Rituximab (popular brand Rituxan) is an intravenous drug that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It belongs to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. Other monoclonal antibodies include trastuzumab (Herceptin) and gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Mylotarg).
Corticosteroids (inlude drugs such as prednisone) — oral corticosteroids are oral medication used to reduce swelling and is used for many conditions such as allergic reactions, skin diseases (psoriasis, hives), breathing problems; certain cancers, blood disorders, and eye problems; arthritis, digestive problems, and for hormone replacement.
Whew! What a handful typing all of that (and inserting hyperlinks!). See any common denominator in the above meds? Rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis — one type only of arthritis.
Which means I need to cover more types in the next edition of resource-type entry in this blog. So, stay tuned.