Posted: October 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

Rheumatoid Arthritis 

chronic-pain111Rheumatoid arthritis (referred to as RA) is a systemic (can affect all body systems) long-term disease that contributes to inflammation of the joints such as wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles.

RA generally occurs in middle-aged adults, but it may also occur in young adults and children. Smoking raises the chance of having RA about 2-4 times. People who have RA might have different symptoms. Most start with warm, swollen, tender and painful joints in the fingers, wrists, and feet.

The actual reason for rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, however, it is considered a disease of the immune system. In RA, the immune system begins to damage the joints. It’s been found that people with active RA have many changes in the immune and inflammatory system and one of them is too much of a protein called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a substance made by your own body’s immune system. People with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis have an excessive amount of  TNF inside their bodies. ENBREL reduces levels of the active form of TNF.

Rheumatoid arthritis is not curable, but  it might be managed with pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroids. These medications, however, treat only the symptoms of RA and not the disease itself. 

Your doctor may choose to consider therapies that modify the progression of the disease. Such medications are called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). There are nonbiologic and biologic kinds of DMARDs.

ENBREL is grouped within a class of medications called biologic response modifiers, or biologics. ENBREL is a prescription medication that is taken by injection, and it is a biologic DMARD indicated to treat moderate to severe RA. ENBREL works on the immune system to help reduce joint pain and inflammation and keep joint damage from getting worse. By working on the immune system, biologics block proteins that contribute to the disease process.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease. Unlike inflammation that develops as a result of minor injuries, the inflammation found in RA worsens over time and can cause permanent damage to the cartilage and bones within affected joints. Often times, this can lead to lack of physical function.

However, if you have moderate to severe RA and you begin a biologic therapy like ENBREL, you can avoid the progression of joint damage and improve your physical function.

In medical studies, ENBREL was shown to be clinically effective in about 2 out of 3 adults with moderate to severe RA at 3 months. ENBREL has been proven to begin working in as few as 2 weeks, and most patients who benefit is going to do within 3 months. In another medical study, 55% of patients who were evaluated 5 years after beginning ENBREL therapy had no longer progression of joint damage.


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