Health Questions and Answers

Question: How effective are the TNF inhibitors in the treatment of RA?

Answer:

The TNF inhibitors have shown dramatic efficacy in the treatment of RA. Careful studies have shown significant improvements in function, lessening the number of swollen and tender joints and a slowing of the radiographic progression of disease. These medications have been used safely and effectively with more traditional DMARDs as well. The most common toxicities are injection site reactions, but they are also associated with increased infection risk, including TB and other opportunistic organisms and drug-induced lupus.

Reference: Hochberg MC (ed). Rheumatology, 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mosby, 2003

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