Adalimumab is currently approved in Canada for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), Crohn’s disease (CD), and psoriasis (Ps) in adults. Adalimumab has also been approved to treat polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA) in children aged 4 to 17 years and Crohn’s disease in children aged 13 to 17 years. Continue reading
I recently blogged about my decision to take the annual flu vaccine and why I choose to go this route rather than play the odds of contracting this nasty virus. Making the decision is a no-brainer for me because a few years ago I got the flu and after the horrible full-blown symptoms had disappeared within a couple of weeks, I dragged around for another six weeks before I felt well again. Continue reading
On October 25, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) asked for your views on subsequent-entry biologics (SEBs). Health Canada defines SEBS as a “biologic drug that enters the market subsequent to a version previously authorized in Canada, and with demonstrated similarity to a reference biologic drug.” Unlike generic medications, SEBs are not identical to their originator drugs. Since every biologic is made from living cells, even minor differences from the originator drug change the way a SEB acts in the body.
Today is the last day to complete this short survey to let us know how much you know about SEBs. Your feedback is vitally important to the work ACE conducts on behalf of the more than 456,000 Albertans living with arthritis.
Please be assured that all responses will remain anonymous and confidential. Personal information will not be collected as part of this survey.
A friend recently told me that she was prescribed medical marijuana to help with her crippling and frequent migraine pain. As a reformed cigarette smoker, she decided against smoking it and instead, brewed the cannabis into a tea. While the resulting infusion only slightly eased her migraine pain, it made her feel groggy and slow (not ‘high’), so she abandoned this option as a viable alternative treatment.
When her mother who suffers from debilitating arthritis came for tea, she sampled the “special brew” and experienced the opposite effect: she became extremely agitated and therefore, declined to accept a second cup. I have another friend who uses marijuana to combat the debilitating effects of chemotherapy treatments; it is baked into bite-sized cookies that help suppress nausea and stimulate appetite. Continue reading
If you struggle to open child-proof medication bottles, you will be happy to know that researchers are helping a large pharmaceutical company come up with a new secure cap that could receive the U.S Arthritis Foundation’s ease-of-use commendation.
Going so far as to wear gloves that would help them understand the experience of trying to open medicine bottles with arthritis—specifically “the limited ability to grasp, pinch, turn, lift and twist objects”—the researchers made recommendations that the company considered in their final design.
The process of developing the new pill bottle tops is rather interesting. Check out the article on medicalxpress.com.
The very early detection of rheumatoid arthritis and its prevention were highlighted at EULAR 2013 with an exciting presentation of a study of four new biomarkers.
“Prevention is better than a cure: A new dawn for the management of RA?” was the title of a presentation given by invited speaker Dr. Danielle M. Gerlag, an expert in clinical immunology and rheumatology at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Dr. Gerlag noted that research in RA prevention is focused on the earliest changes in the body as the disease starts. These include:
- Circulating auto-antibodies (which serve to identify disease)
- Increased acute phase reactants (proteins found in the blood that indicate the level of inflammation)
- Early synovitis (inflammation of the synovial fluid which lubricates joints)
Research is showing elevated levels of auto-antibodies can be found in blood samples a median five years before clinical symptoms appear.
“It is known that early in the course of disease, a window of opportunity exists during which the introduction of aggressive anti-rheumatic therapy can result in a change in the natural course of the disease,” Dr. Gerlag said, noting that this “can be brought to another level now that we are able to identify those who are at risk of developing RA, aiming at the prevention of the onset of clinical signs and symptoms of arthritis.
While there are no interventions that would prevent the onset of RA, Dr. Gerlag said, “The immunological knowledge has advanced to a stage where such an intervention is likely to be successful.”
Belgian researchers presented a study on four new biomarkers to help with early detection of RA – important research given that one-third of people with RA test negative to existing diagnostic antibodies RF (rheumatoid factor) and ACCP (antibodies directed against cyclic citrullinated peptides). This is unfortunate because it can cause delays in patients receiving treatment early enough to increase the chances of achieving remission.
The new biomarkers tested in the study were found to be 85% specific to RA and produced positive results in 36% of study patients with early RA and 24% of those who had tested negative to both RF and ACCP.