March 10th, 2014
Azulfidine (sulfasalazine) is a common disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. While effective, it has a whole host of potential side effects including allergic reactions, gastrointestinal disturbance, headache, mouth sores, skin color changes, alterations in hearing, blood abnormalities, liver damage, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
March 7th, 2014
Rituximab (Rituxan) is a biologic drug administered intravenously and used for the treatment of severe rheumatoid arthritis. It works by removing B lymphocytes from the blood. The drug is given every six months, takes a month or two to kick in and is often very effective. It has many potential side effects. This video goes over some of them.
March 6th, 2014
Actemra is a drug used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It is a biologic that targets interleukin 6, a protein that promotes inflammation. It is administered intravenously every four weeks and can be used with or without methotrexate.
While often effective, it, as with other biologics, has potential side effects.
March 5th, 2014
Newer biologics aimed at targeting specific cytokine pathways are an important weapon used in arthritis treatment. Stelara is a biologic that blocks interleukin 12 and 23. It appears to work well in the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. This video describes indications and potential side effects.
March 4th, 2014
Among the many types of conditions requiring arthritis treatment is carpal tunnel syndrome. There are many causes and also many treatment approaches. This video discusses carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis.
March 3rd, 2014
Arthritis treatment often begins with conservative measures including weight control, exercise, physical therapy, and medication. Oral anti-inflammatory medicines can sometimes cause undesirable side effects. Topical non-steroidal preparations, in theory might be safer. Voltaren gel is a topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which is used for arthritis treatment. This video discusses some of the indications and cautions.
February 27th, 2014
Montreal… a beautiful city and the setting for the next story…
Maternal lupus doubles autism risk
Bruce Jancin writing in Rheumatology News reported on a study presented at the American College of Rheumatology national meeting. The study, performed at McGill University in Montreal showed that the risk of autism more than doubles among children born to mothers with systemic lupus erythematosus. The autism risk was not correlated with drug therapy for the lupus.
Comment: Very interesting research findings.
February 26th, 2014
Bacteria… they’re all around us and the next story tells you why that might be bad for arthritis…
RA cause identified?
Mitchel Zoler writing in Rheumatology News reported on a theory that the autoimmunity that causes rheumatoid arthritis may be due to clusters of microbes that colonize various surfaces inside the body and form microbiomes. The microbiomes then set up an autoimmune response that can lead to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. As evidence researchers point towards the link between RA and periodontitis due to Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacteria that causes periodontitis.
Comment: Fascinating stuff.
February 25th, 2014
Which is better… anti-inflammatory drugs or viscosupplements?
Intra-articular hyaluronic acid injection versus oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: a multi-center, randomized, open-label, non-inferiority trial is the title of a study published in Arthritis Research and Therapy. The study compared the use of NSAIDS versus hyaluronic acid in 200 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The investigators found that the viscosupplements were as effective and also safer than oral NSAIDS.
Comment: These are important results and should prompt reevaluation of NSIAD treatment for knee osteoarthritis.
February 24th, 2014
Stem cells from patients with osteoarthritis are as good as normal controls
Alwin Scharstuhl and colleagues, in an article published in the journal Stem Cells, studied a cohort of patients with osteoarthritis as well as controls. They found the proliferative capacity of harvested mesenchymal stem cells was normal and independent of age and cause of OA. From all tested donors, MSCs could be differentiated into cartilage. They concluded that, irrespective of age and osteoarthritis, sufficient numbers of MSCs can be isolated and that these cells possess an adequate chondrogenic differentiation potential.
Comment: This study absolutely contradicts a previous blog post I made. Interesting.