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Biologic medications treat rheumatoid arthritis on a molecular level. What does this mean, exactly? Watch this video to find out.
Transcript: Biologics are created from human proteins. They're engineered to target different components of your...
Biologics are created from human proteins. They're engineered to target different components of your immune system on a MOLECULAR level. When used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, they prevent your white blood cells and other inflammatory substances from mistakenly attacking your healthy joint lining. Biologics come in two forms-as a self-administered INJECTION and as an INFUSION. They cannot be taken orally because the super-large sized proteins in them cannot be absorbed by your digestive tract. There are 9 approved biologics, but or tumor necrosis factor-inhibitors are the MOST commonly prescribed type of biologic. There are five-etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, certolizumab pegol and golimumab. If your rheumatoid arthritis is in the early stages and you have low to moderate symptoms, you're NOT yet a candidate for biologic drugs. Biologics are prescribed after TRADITIONAL DMARDs-or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs--are no longer an option. That's because BIOLOGICS have more potential side effects AND cost more than traditional DMARDs. Biologics are powerful drugs-SO powerful that they have the potential to send rheumatoid arthritis into remission and prevent joint damage. But biologics suppress the immune system and that increases the risk for infection and may trigger allergic reactions, so you must be carefully monitored while taking them. Patients should not take biologics if they have tuberculosis, hepatitis B, or any active bacterial infection. And, not all biologics are right for YOU. Your doctor will determine YOUR individual RA treatment based on your medical history. The decision to use a particular drug should be based on a thorough discussion with your doctor about the risks and benefits. If you'd like to learn more about rheumatoid arthritis treatment, take a look at other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2016-01-07 | Tags »
biologics, biologic response modifiers, brm, immune system, etanercept dmard, treating rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis medication joint pain, joint damage, disability, immune system, suppressed immune system, rheumatoid arthritis enbrel, humira, remicade, orencia, cimzia, simponi, kineret, rituxan