Medications

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Abatacept (Orencia)

Abatacept (Orencia) is a drug used to treat inflammatory signs of arthritis, such as pain, swelling and prolonged joint stiffness. Abatacept belongs to the biologic class of drugs, which means that it works similarly to natural substances in the immune system.

Anakinra (Kineret)

Anakinra (Kineret) is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. It is a “biologic” medicine. This means that it is man-made and closely related to a protein that occurs naturally in the body.

Anti-tumor Necrosis Factor Drugs (Anti-TNF)

Anti- tumor necrosis factor drugs are a class of drugs that have been used for more than 10 years. They are used worldwide to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis, Crohn’s colitis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis. These drugs are able to reduce inflammation and stop disease progression.

Azathioprine (Imuran)

Azathioprine (Imuran) is a drug used to treat swelling and pain in arthritis. The most common diseases treated with Imuran are dermatomyositis, systemic lupus erythematosus and vasculitis. It belongs to a class of medications called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or immunosuppressants. This class of medicines can decrease joint damage and disability.

Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)

Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) belongs to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents, which have been used to treat some types of cancer. It is also considered an immunosuppressant—a medicine that can decrease the immune response.

Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf)

Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf) is a potent immunosuppressant medication that is considered a disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) because it not only decreases the pain and swelling of arthritis but it may also prevent joint damage and reduce the risk of long term disability.

Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)

Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is considered a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) because it can decrease the pain and swelling of arthritis, and it may prevent joint damage and reduce the risk of long-term disability.

Leflunomide (Arava)

Leflunomide (Arava) is a drug used to treat swelling and pain in arthritis. It belongs to a class of medications called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). This class of medicines can decrease joint damage and disability.

Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)

Methotrexate (Rheumatrex) is one of the most effective and commonly used medicines in the treatment of several forms of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. It is known as a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD), because it not only decreases the pain and swelling of arthritis, but it also can decrease damage to joints and long-term disability.

Minocycline (Minocin)

Minocycline (Minocin) is an antibiotic, part of the group known as tetracyclines. It may be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although RA is not thought to be caused by an infection, minocycline may improve the signs and symptoms of this disease. Minocycline belongs to the class of drugs known as DMARDs (disease- modifying anti-rheumatic drugs).

Mycophenolate (CellCept or Myfortic)

Mycophenolate (CellCept or Myfortic) belongs to a class of medications known as immunosuppressives. This medication was used originally in the management of patients with organ transplants, but is now recommended in the treatment of some autoimmune diseases.

Nonsteroidal Anti- inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Millions of Americans have arthritis and other painful health problems affecting the musculoskeletal system: the joints, muscles and bones. A mainstay of treatment for these conditions for more than three decades has been a class of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs.

Rituximab (Rituxan and MabThera)

Rituximab (Rituxan and MabThera) is a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis that has not improved with other types of medications, as well as certain forms of vasculitis. It works by turning off a part of the immune system that is not working properly in autoimmune diseases.

Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)

Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), used to treat pain and swelling in arthritis, belongs to a class of drugs called sulfa drugs. It is a combination of salicylate (the main ingredient in aspirin) and a sulfa antibiotic. Sulfasalazine is also known as a disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) because it not only decreases the pain and swelling of arthritis, but also may prevent damage to joints. In addition, it may reduce the risk of long term loss of function.

Tocilizumab (Actemra)

Tocilizumab (Actemra) is an agent in the class of drugs known as biologic disease modifiers. It is used to treat adult onset rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and the systemic form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Biologic disease modifiers are genetically engineered drugs that are used to modify imbalances of the immune system in autoimmune disease. Some of these agents block, or modify, the activity of selected cells in the immune system, while others—including tocilizumab—work by blocking certain messenger proteins, known as cytokines, that send signals between those cells. In other words, some medicines directly affect the cells, and others block the communication between cells.

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