Drugs

Antirheumatic Drugs (Antirheumatoid Drugs) : Rheumatoid Arthritis Medications

Antirheumatic Drugs (ARDs), (Antirheumatoid Drugs) : Definition, Classification, Example, Mechanism of Action, Uses, Side Effects, Contraindications, & Interactions

Definition

  • Anti-Rheumatic Drugs(ARD) are drugs which (except corticosteroids), can suppress the rheumatoid process and bring about a remission, but do not have nonspecific antiinflammatory or analgesic action.
  • NSAIDs are the first line drugs and afford symptomatic relief in pain, swelling, morning stiffness, immobility, but do not arrest the disease process.

Why RA Therapy?

The goals of drug therapy in RA are :

  • Ameliorate pain, swelling and joint stiffness
  • Prevent articular cartilage damage and bony erosions
  • Prevent deformity and preserve joint function

Classification

1. Disease modifying ARD (DMARDs) / Slow acting antirheumatic drugs (SAARDs)

  • DMARDs are used in the treatment of RA and have been shown to slow the course of the disease, induce remission, and prevent further destruction of the joints and involved tissues.
  • When a patient is diagnosed with RA, DMARDs should be started within 3 months to help stop the progression of the disease at the earlier stages. NSAIDs or corticosteroids may also be used for relief of symptoms if needed.
  • E.g.
    Immunosuppressants (Methotrexate, Azathioprine, Cyclosporine)
    Sulfasalazine
    Chloroquine
    Hydroxychloroquine
    Leflunomide
    Auranofin
    Gold sod. Thiomalate
    d-Penicillamine

2. Biologic response modifier (BRMs)

  • Biologic response modifier (BRMs) provides biologic therapy.
  • E.g.
    TNF-α inhibitors (Etanercept, Infliximab, Adalimumab, Certolizumab, Golimumab)
    IL-1 antagonists (Anakinra)
    Abatacept
    Rituximab
    Tocilizumab
    Tofacitinib

3. Adjuvant Drugs

  • E.g. Corticosteroids : Prednisolone etc
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