Traditional DMARDs vs. Biologics
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Both traditional DMARDs and biologic response modifiers work to stop the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. But they have many differences. Learn more.
Transcript: Rheumatoid arthritis means that your overactive immune system is mistakenly targeting the lining of your...
Rheumatoid arthritis means that your overactive immune system is mistakenly targeting the lining of your joints instead of foreign bacteria. DMARDs, or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, are the ONLY drugs that are able to slow -and even stop--the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. They work by reducing inflammation that erodes both tissue and bone over time. There are several types of DMARDs-some block enzymes involved in the immune system process. Others slow the disease by hindering the INTERACTIONS between certain cells. Methotrexate is likely the FIRST DMARD your doctor will prescribe for you. It's one of the most effective and most popular drugs in RA treatment. Three other common traditional DMARDs are leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine. In order to treat rheumatoid arthritis more effectively, doctors SOMETIMES prescribe one or two of these ALONGSIDE methotrexate. Then there are the newest DMARDs on the market-BIOLOGICS. These are made of specific proteins that closely mimic those that naturally occur in our body. On a molecular level, they are able to interrupt the autoimmune attack that triggers RA. Common biologics include infliximab, adalimumab and etanercept - which you may know as Remicade, Humira, or Enbrel, respectively. Both biologics and traditional DMARDs are used alone or in combination with each other. All of these drugs fight rheumatoid arthritis effectively - but they all also suppress your immune system's ability to respond to outside intruders. So take care of yourself. Wash your hands, avoid sick people, eat nutritiously and get plenty of sleep. If you do catch an infection, your doctor may temporarily pause your treatment until you get better. For more on how to treat rheumatoid arthritis, look for other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2016-10-04 | Tags »
traditional dmards, biologic response modifiers, methotrexate, etanercept dmard, treating rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis medication joint pain, joint damage, disability, immune system, suppressed immune system, rheumatoid arthritis enbrel, humira, remicade, orencia, rheumatrex