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Health Canada approves sarilumab (Kevzara®) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Approved stamps for sarilumab for rheumatoid arthritis

Image courtesy of karate at FreeDigitalPhotos.net/

Sarilumab (Kevzara®) is now approved in Canada to treat moderate to severely active rheumatoid arthritis

Health Canada has approved a new treatment for Canadians with moderate to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. Sarilumab (Kevzara®) was issued its Notice of Compliance on January 12, 2017. Click here to view Health Canada’s Summary Basis of Decision.

Sarilumab (Kevzara®), an interleukin-6 receptor antagonist, has been approved for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate reponse or intolerance to one or more biologic or non-biologic Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs).
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Thank you Lady Gaga for speaking out about your RA pain!

Cover picture for Arthritis Magazine: Lady Gaga on her RA pain“I fought RA pain with my passion,” said Lady Gaga in the Spring 2017 issue of Arthritis magazine. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease with hallmark symptoms of inflammation and resulting pain. It is a disease process (like cancer or diabetes) where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy joints. It is a relatively common disease-approximately 300,000 or 1 in 100 Canadians get it-and is often devastating to a person’s body if not treated properly. The disease process causes swelling and pain in and around joints and can affect the body’s organs, including the eyes, lungs, and heart. Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the hands and feet. Other joints often affected include the elbows, shoulders, neck, jaw, ankles, knees, and hips. When moderate to severe, the disease reduces a person’s life span by as much as a dozen years. To learn more about the disease, please click here.

In 2013, Lady Gaga had to cancel part of the Born This Way Ball world tour to get surgery after suffering a massive joint tear and hip breakage. At the time, she thought the pain was the result of a labral tear and an inflammatory condition called synovitis. She told Women’s Wear Daily: “My injury was actually a lot worse than just a labral tear. I had broken my hip. Nobody knew, and I haven’t even told the fans yet.” Continue reading

Avis à l’intention des membres du comité ACE atteints de psoriasis et d’arthrite psoriasique :

An image of PureCare Herbal CreamSanté Canada a publié un avis de sécurité à propos des ingrédients qui entrent dans la composition de la crème à base de plantes PureCare.

La crème à base de plantes PureCare, commercialisée comme un traitement naturel contre l’eczéma et le psoriasis chez les enfants et les bébés, peut poser de graves risques pour la santé.

Les analyses du Ministère ont confirmé la présence dans ce produit d’un stéroïde d’ordonnance (propionate de clobétasol) et d’un autre ingrédient (phénoxyéthanol) non déclarés sur l’étiquette. Ces ingrédients peuvent avoir des effets sur la santé allant de l’irritation cutanée et de la déshydratation jusqu’à une hausse de la tension artérielle. Continue reading

Attention ACE members with psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis

An image of PureCare Herbal CreamHealth Canada has issued a warning about ingredients in PureCare Herbal Cream 

PureCare Herbal Cream, advertised as a natural treatment for eczema and psoriasis in children and babies, may pose serious health risks.

Health Canada testing confirmed the presence of a prescription steroid (clobetasol propionate) and another ingredient (phenoxylethanol) not declared on the product label. These ingredients may cause health effects ranging from skin irritation and dehydration to increased blood pressure. Continue reading

Young generations reporting arthritis at an earlier age

Picture of youths in the park for arthritis articleA Canadian Study in Arthritis Care & Research concludes that young generations are reporting arthritis at an earlier age. The authors of the study believed it is linked to rising obesity rates.

The study looked at arthritis incidence in four different groups:

  • The World War II group (1935-1944) is the benchmark group.
  • The generation Xers (1965-1972), where the odds ratio for arthritis was 3.20.
  • The younger baby boomers (1955-1964), where the odds ratio for arthritis was 2.14.
  • The older baby boomers (1945-1954), where the odds ratio for arthritis was 1.48.

The study was conducted by Elizabeth Badley, PhD, of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and her colleagues. Bailey and her team found that severely obese people were 2.5 times more likely than people with a normal body mass index (BMI). Continue reading

Adaptive clothes for people living with arthritis and other medical problems

Wardrobe full of clothesPutting on clothes can be a difficult task for people living with arthritis, limited mobility and range of motion, and other medical problems.

For someone living with arthritis, simple tasks, such as buttoning a shirt, tying shoelaces, or pulling up a zipper, are made difficult by joint pain and inflammation. Caregivers can help in this aspect but it can be a demeaning, intimate and tricky task for both parties. People with Alzheimer or dementia may also have trouble in dressing themselves. They may forget how to put on a shirt or which way the buttons face.

One way to make things easier is to use adaptive clothes. Adaptive clothes have details like Velcro tabs instead of zips and buttons, as well as adjustable or removable components that help to save time and reduce the risk of injury. “More importantly, this type of clothing improves one’s comfort and bolsters self-esteem,” said Ms. Punithamani Kandasamy, a registered nurse and caregiving trainer at Active Global Specialised Caregivers. In an interview with the Straight Times in Singapore, Ms. Punithamani explains how different types of adaptive apparel and footwear can be useful for both the wearer and the caregiver. Below is an excerpt from the interview: Continue reading