Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors
There are several types of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors used for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. These include:


These medications are highly effective at treating patients with an inadequate response to DMARDs. They may be prescribed in combination with some DMARDs, particularly methotrexate. Etanercept requires subcutaneous (beneath the skin) injections one or two times per week. Infliximab is taken intravenously (IV) during a two-hour procedure; it is administered with methotrexate.
Adalimumab requires injections every two weeks. The long-term efficacy and safety of these drugs are uncertain.
Golimumab is given as a subcutaneous injection once a month. Certolizumab pegol is given by IV every two weeks initially for the first three doses, and then every two or four weeks.
Enbrel side effects can include pain or burning in the throat; redness, itching, pain, and/or swelling at the injection site; and runny or stuffy nose.
Remicade side effects can include abdominal pain (or stomach pain), cough, dizziness, fainting, headache, muscle pain, runny nose, shortness of breath, sore throat, vomiting, and wheezing.
Humira side effects can include redness, rash, swelling, itching, bruising, sinus infection, headache, and nausea.
Simponi side effects can include upper respiratory tract infections (such as the common cold), high blood pressure, and skin redness at the injection site.
Cimzia side effects can include upper respiratory tract infections (such as the common cold), urinary tract infections (such as a bladder infection), and joint pain.
Long-term efficacy and safety are uncertain. Doctor monitoring is important, particularly if you have an active infection, exposure to tuberculosis, or a central nervous system disorder. Evaluation for tuberculosis is necessary before treatment begins.
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