New Arthritis Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of autoimmune disease that brings about chronic joint inflammation. This illness can also cause tissue inflammation around the joints, along with other body organs. Osteoarthritis is a kind of arthritis that is attributable to the wear down and the ultimate loss of joint cartilage. This cartilage works like a pillow between the bones of the joints and is a protein substance. Another name for osteoarthritis is degenerative arthritis.

The most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is pain and stiffness of the joints and muscles. There also can be warmth, swelling and creaking of the joints that are affected by these conditions. In order to help alleviate this pain, there are many new arthritis drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Abatacept, Rituximab and Tocilizumab

In June, 2007, three new rheumatoid arthritis drugs were announced that marked a new era in arthritis medicine. Typical types of rheumatoid arthritis are mostly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and glucocorticoids. According to some background information about the study, only DMARDs and at times glucocorticoids can slow down or stop rheumatoid arthritis’ inflammatory destructive disease progression.

Abatacept hampers T-cell launch reaction which is thought to serve an important part in rheumatoid arthritis. Rituxamab aims at the CD20 antigen in certain cells which leads to a decrease in the CD20 cell count. Tocillzumab aims at interleukin-6, which triggers many cell populations. Dr. Josef Smolen, a professor of medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, and his team came to the conclusion that all three new medications lessen the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in patients.


Celebrex is one of the new arthritis drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and can relieve the pain and inflammation of these medical conditions. Celebrex is categorized as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), but it is distinctive in relation to older drugs that are available in this class in its biologic action.

Unfortunately with most NSAID drugs, there are 10 to 50 percent of people that cannot endure these drugs because of side effects such as upset stomach, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and heartburn. Additionally, 15 percent of individuals that are on long-term NSAID drug treatment acquire ulceration of the duodenum and stomach. Celebrex is a COX-2 inhibitor and is a new class of drugs that gives the benefit of lessening the inflammation but doesn’t irritate the stomach so less side effects.


A new arthritis medication called Tanezumab that was made by Pfizer looked very promising in 2010. The drug was shown to help patients with the pain they suffered in their knees from osteoarthritis and was helpful for patients that couldn’t take the normal NSAIDs that are normally prescribed for osteoarthritis. Tanexumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that aims at the nerve-growth factor which is a protein that intervenes the pain response to an injury. The medicine is given by infusion every eight weeks.

Patients that were in the drug trial for Tanezumab stated that the drug relieved the pain in their knees from 45 percent to 62 percent on average and this happened after only a few days on the medication. This great improvement kept going for about four months and Tanexumab had relieved them of the pain so well that the patients were able to have better physical function like being able to dance again. The drug also relieved stiffness in the joints. Unfortunately, since they were not feeling the pain, the patients were overdoing things and some ended up needing joint replacements because of the breakdown of the joints. In other words, they did not feel any pain to tell them to stop doing physical things and they ended up hurting themselves. Pfizer suspended Tanezumab trials in June, 2010 for osteoarthritis.


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