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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug: Tofacitinib

After several years of intense studies, this new treatment option for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients who suffer from moderate to severe RA and do not respond to the presently available RA-drugs such as Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, etc., may soon be approved by the FDA.

The drug is called Tofacitinib and could also possibly be used to treat psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, other immunological diseases, and may even prevent transplanted organs from being rejected.

The difference between Tofacitinib and the above mentioned treatments are rather substantial:
- Tofacitinib is taken orally in pill-form; twice daily in either a 5 mg, or 10 mg doses. The others are injections, or an infusion.
- Tofacitinib, even though it falls under the category of JAK inhibitors, targets molecules within the cells of the immune-system which are responsible for inflammations, while the others target molecules of cells outside the system.

In the long-term study of the drug, side effects have been reported. They were infections such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and herpes, but those were mild and were treated successfully. Some cases of cancer and even four deaths were reported, but those were not linked to the use of Tofacitinib.

Overall, the drug is said to be safe enough and very effective, but it is still under review for approval. Should it be approved, then it could take until 2015 before this new medication is available to the patients and it seems like patience is in order.

That is nothing new; we encounter those situations almost daily, but there is a solution to everything. It may take a while before it is evident or available to us and patience and faith are required. That is simple, but not always easy! :-)

2 Thessalonians 3:5
Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.


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