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What other types of biologics can your doctor give you for your rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

ANSWER

If the first anti-TNF you try doesn't work for you, your doctor will most likely try another one. If you still don't get relief, they may switch you to another type of biologic. These include:

  • Abatacept (Orencia), which blocks the immune system's T cells to lower inflammation
  • Anakinra (Kineret), which targets interleukin-1, a chemical your body makes that causes inflammation. Your doctor will call this type of drug an "IL-1 blocker."
  • Rituximab (Rituxan), which targets certain B cells, which are part of your immune system
  • Tocilizumab (Actemra), which targets IL-6, a chemical your body makes that causes inflammation. Your doctor will call this type of drug an "IL-6 blocker."

SOURCES:

Patience White, MD, chief public health officer, Arthritis Foundation.

Alan Friedman, MD, spokesman, American College of Rheumatology.

American College of Rheumatology: "Biologic Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis," "Anti-TNF," "Tocilizumab."

Arthritis Foundation: "Drug Guide: Biologics."

FDA: "FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira."

News Release, FDA.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on September 15, 2019

SOURCES:

Patience White, MD, chief public health officer, Arthritis Foundation.

Alan Friedman, MD, spokesman, American College of Rheumatology.

American College of Rheumatology: "Biologic Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis," "Anti-TNF," "Tocilizumab."

Arthritis Foundation: "Drug Guide: Biologics."

FDA: "FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira."

News Release, FDA.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on September 15, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

Why do some biologics work for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and others don't?

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