Intended for healthcare professionals


Drugs for inflammatory arthritis . . . and other stories

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 19 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4725

Biological treatments for rheumatoid arthritis

Biological immunomodulating drugs are increasingly used to treat people with inflammatory arthritis, which means that the possibility of long term adverse effects is growing ever more important. A national register based study from Sweden followed more than 20 000 people who had been prescribed tumour necrosis factor inhibitors or other biological disease modifying drugs and compared them with cohorts drawn from the general population and from people treated with conventional disease modifying drugs (JAMA Intern Med doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.4332). With one possible exception (abatacept and an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin) there were no indications that biological treatments raised the risk of malignant neoplasms. …

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