Is It Time to Step Up Your RA Treatment?

By

Susan Fishman

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Female doctor talking to a patient

If you’ve tried everything to treat your rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with little success, there may be hope just yet. There’s a newer class of drugs that have helped many people control their joint pain and preserve mobility over the past several years. These drugs, called biologic response modifiers (“biologics” for short), have been shown to slow the progression of RA when other treatments haven’t worked.

What are biologics, and how do they work?

Biologics target your immune system. But unlike traditional RA drugs that take a broader approach, biologics target specific components of your immune system that cause progressive joint damage and those debilitating arthritis symptoms. They are genetically engineered using human genes and are designed to “interrupt the system” specifically, the pathways that trigger inflammation. This helps relieve joint pain and prevent or slow tissue damage.

W. Hayes Wilson, MD, discusses the basics of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and treatment.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Feb 16, 2015

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