Enbrel (etanercept)-Methotrexate Drug Combo For Remission of Rheumatoid Arthritis

July 16, 2008 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

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As reported by Wyeth – maker of the rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel – the combination of the drug Enbrel and methotrexate help improve to remission of rheumatoid arthritis.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (a division of Wyeth) and Amgen today announced the publication of data from the COMET (COmbination of Methotrexate and ETanercept in Active Early Rheumatoid Arthritis) trial demonstrating that half of patients treated with the combination of ENBREL and methotrexate achieved Disease Activity Score (DAS) clinical remission and nearly all had no progression of joint damage.

Enbrel is a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker that blocks the action of a substance that the body’s immune system makes (called TNF) and is FDA-approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It looks like that Enbrel is prescribedx for most types of the inflammatory autoimmune kind of rheumatic arthritis.

Combination therapy with ENBREL plus methotrexate also helped patients remain more functionally active. Based on the Health Assessment Questionnaire (used to assess certain daily life activities), 61 percent (n = 256) of patients treated with combination therapy demonstrated improvement in their functionality versus 44 percent (n = 241) of those treated with only methotrexate. Further, the COMET trial showed that patients who were treated with combination therapy had a nearly three-fold reduction in work stoppage compared with those who received methotrexate alone.

The above findings were published online on July 15 by The Lancet.

In the United States, Enbrel has the following indications (more in details as I have already enumerated above:

  • ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, keeping joint damage from getting worse, and improving physical function in patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. ENBREL can be taken with methotrexate or used alone.
  • ENBREL is indicated for reducing the signs and symptoms of moderately to severely active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis in patients ages 2 and older.
  • ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms, keeping joint damage from getting worse, and improving physical function in patients with psoriatic arthritis. ENBREL can be used in combination with methotrexate in patients who do not respond adequately to methotrexate alone.
  • ENBREL is indicated for reducing signs and symptoms in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis.
  • ENBREL is indicated for the treatment of adult patients (18 years or older) with chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

Read more from Wyeth’s press release and visit Enbrel’s website for more details about this drug. Remember, Enbrel is a prescription drug. Talk to your doctor about it if he hasn’t mentioned this already.

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