Colorado Arthritis Center, P.C. - Rheumatology Colorado Arthritis Center, P.C. - Rheumatology : (303) 788-1312
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Biological drug therapy

Biological drug therapy, also known as “biologics” are a new class of drugs that are genetically engineered. They are made from a living organism such as a gene or protein, and designed to block triggers of inflammation. Inflammation is the result of the immune system’s errant attack on the body’s tissues, causing joint pain and destruction, as well as other systemic effects, such as fatigue and heart and lung damage. Biologics are used to treat autoimmune and inflammatory forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis, and lupus.

Biologics interfere with the body’s inflammatory response by inhibiting specific components of the immune system that play a role in increasing or decreasing inflammation. These drugs are given to lessen inflammation by interfering with biologic substances that cause or worsen inflammation. Traditional drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis tend to suppress the entire immune system whereas biological drug therapy targets the particular components of the immune system. Biologics tend to be used to treat patients with moderate to severe disease that has not responded to disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Biologic drugs can be used either alone or in combination with other medications for greater effectiveness.

Biologics are given either by intravenous infusions or injections. Some patients usually complain of pain and localized rash at the site of injection. The most important side effect of these medications is an increased risk of infections, and other possible side effects vary according to the drug in question. Please discuss with your doctor for more detailed information.

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