Ankylosing Spondylitis Medications
Biologic Response Modifiers: The Newest Class of Ankylosing Spondylitis MedicationsBiologic response modifiers are the newest medications for ankylosing spondylitis. These drugs selectively block parts of the immune system called cytokines. Cytokines play a role in inflammation. Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNF inhibitors) are one type of biologic response modifiers.
There are several types of TNF inhibitors used to treat ankylosing spondylitis. These include:
These ankylosing spondylitis medicines are highly effective for treating people with an inadequate response to DMARDs. TNF inhibitors can be used to improve symptoms, stop further joint damage, and improve joint function. They may be used alone or in combination with other DMARDs, NSAIDs, and/or corticosteroids.
Etanercept requires subcutaneous (beneath the skin) injections one or two times per week. Infliximab is taken intravenously (IV) during a two-hour procedure. Adalimumab requires injections every two weeks and golimumab injections are given once a month. The long-term efficacy and safety of these drugs are uncertain.
Side effects of Enbrel can include:
- Pain or burning in the throat
- Redness, itching, pain, and/or swelling at the injection site
- Runny or stuffy nose.
Remicade side effects can include:
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
- Muscle pain
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
Side effects of Humira can include:
Doctor monitoring is important, particularly if you have an active infection or a central nervous system disorder, or have had exposure to tuberculosis. You will need to be evaluated for tuberculosis before treatment begins.