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Can biologic response modifiers cure rheumatoid arthritis?

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These medications can't cure rheumatoid arthritis (RA). If the drugs are stopped, symptoms may return. But just as with other disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, biologic response modifiers may slow the progression of the disease or help put it into remission. If your doctor prescribes one of these RA drugs, you will likely take it in combination with methotrexate. Biologic response modifiers are taken by injection and/or by IV and are expensive. Their long-term effects are unknown.

Before taking biologics, it's important to get appropriate vaccinations and to be tested for tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C.

SOURCES: 

American College of Rheumatology: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."
Amgen Prescribing Information, Amjevita.
Arthur Kavanaugh, MD, rheumatologist; professor of medicine, University of California at San Diego.
Arthritis Foundation: "Drug Guide."
eMedicine Health: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."
FDA: "Therapeutics for Rheumatoid Arthritis." “FDA approves Inflectra, a biosimilar to Remicade.” "Prescribing Information, Infliximab-dyyb (Inflectra)." “FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira.”
Medscape: "FDA Approves Orencia."
Simponi. 
Singh, R. Current Opinion in Rheumatology; vol 17: pp 274-279.
WebMD Medical News: "New Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Work Well." "Celebrex Linked to Heart Attacks."
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Rheumatoid Arthritis -- Medications."
WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic: "Arthritis Medicines Overview," "Steroids to Treat Arthritis," "Disease-Modifying Medications," "Biologics."

Reviewed by David Zelman on October 16, 2020

SOURCES: 

American College of Rheumatology: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."
Amgen Prescribing Information, Amjevita.
Arthur Kavanaugh, MD, rheumatologist; professor of medicine, University of California at San Diego.
Arthritis Foundation: "Drug Guide."
eMedicine Health: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."
FDA: "Therapeutics for Rheumatoid Arthritis." “FDA approves Inflectra, a biosimilar to Remicade.” "Prescribing Information, Infliximab-dyyb (Inflectra)." “FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira.”
Medscape: "FDA Approves Orencia."
Simponi. 
Singh, R. Current Opinion in Rheumatology; vol 17: pp 274-279.
WebMD Medical News: "New Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Work Well." "Celebrex Linked to Heart Attacks."
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Rheumatoid Arthritis -- Medications."
WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic: "Arthritis Medicines Overview," "Steroids to Treat Arthritis," "Disease-Modifying Medications," "Biologics."

Reviewed by David Zelman on October 16, 2020

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