Monday, August 27, 2012

Study Conducted To Examine Safety of ‘Biologic’ Meds - Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

The study was published August 8, 2012 in the journal  -> Arthritis & Rheumatism.  The study looked at the 3 most popular TNF-alpha inhibitors used in the United States and in other countries to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and death rates among people treated by them.  
Even although the subjects of the study were RA patients, try looking at the disease factor with a grain of salt.  In my opinion, the more important factor is the overall safety of the Biologic medications (despite what the condition is).  Would the death rates be much different if the subjects of the study were Crohn's disease patients?  Possibly, but my guess would be that the numbers would be around the same.  So, read the article placing significance on the drug, not the disease.

 Article Highlights
"The study was published Aug. 8 in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.
The three drugs studied include Humira, Enbrel and Remicade, all from a relatively new class of medications called TNF-alpha inhibitors." 
"...understanding risk versus benefits of treatment with the most commonly prescribed biologics is important for physicians and patients in managing rheumatoid arthritis," study lead author Dr. Julia Fridman Simard, of the Clinical Epidemiology Unit at the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, said in a journal news release."
"In the new study, Simard's team compiled information on patients with rheumatoid arthritis who began treatment between 2003 and 2008. Of these patients, more than 1,600 started taking adalimumab (Humira), almost 2,700 were prescribed etanercept (Enbrel), and more than 2,000 began treatment with infliximab (Remicade)."
"During the five-year study, 211 of the patients died. However, the researchers found no difference in death rates among the three drugs."  - The Doctors Lounge

Study Compares Safety of ‘Biologic’ Meds for Rheumatoid Arthritis --Doctors Lounge:

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