With nine biologic medications available to treat , it can be difficult knowing which to choose and how they compare. Read my previous post - Biologic Medications for RA: The Big Picture - for a run-down of medications including Actemra, Cimzia, Simponi, , Orencia, Humira, , and .
Today, we’re comparing Actemra, and Orencia which are medications FDA-approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe .
The in RA
The exact cause of is unknown. However, RA is most likely triggered by a combination of factors, one of which being an abnormal response. Involved in the associated with are and , which belong to a class of called .
If the recognizes an as "non-self," it will produce (such as , , or ) which cause to multiply and release immune (). These circulate in the , recognizing the foreign particles and triggering to rid the body of the invasion. For reasons that are still not completely understood, both the and the become overactive in patients with RA.
What do these drugs do?
Each of these drugs interfere with the communication between cells which cause excess associated with . ACTEMRA (tocilizumab) is an () receptor inhibitor. ORENCIA () is a selective costimulation modulator with inhibits activity. RITUXAN () is a which binds to + and causes their destruction.
ACTEMRA, RITUXAN and ORENCIA are intended for patients who have had inadequate response from at least one TNF-inhibitor medication (such as Cimzia, Simponi, Humira, and ). Read RA Biologics: Cimzia vs. Simponi for more information.
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