Medications/Uses/Definitions

Several names of these medications you have heard of and many of them you've probably even tried, or are on them now. 

I am going to just list the few that I have been able to try first. From there I will expand and keep you abreast of the latest and greatest coming our way!

#autoimmune
Plaquenil - actually was first used for a Malaria infection.

Methotrexate - an "older" type of chemotherapy that proves to provide a great deal of relief and to possibly help slow the progress of damage from RA/Lupus/ and many more.

Prednisone -   This is a medication that literally does wonders for just about ANY type of inflammatory illness. Whether you have AAI's, or other types of inflammation especially with the joints, or even inflammatory illnesses such as Asthma, this type of medication is what my own doctor calls "a necessary evil" for me. Many of us take a "low" daily maintenance dose, and when we "flare", then we are sometimes given a large dosage for 14 days or so, to help get the flare under control.

Sulfasalazine - This is a recently added prescription medication to my "varying" lists of Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, and others list. I had not been on this one before the past about 6 weeks. My Rheumatologist, who is now a researcher and teacher; along with having his practice, suggested we try this after me having a long stent of biologic medications, that seem to cause me issues with infections, of which the last was double pneumonia. So, I am hoping and praying the Sulfasalazine does the trick. But, I have been on it along with the MTX and Plaquenil and now due to a Lupus flare, I am on the huge 14 day step down dose of Prednisone... and I am in a world of hurt today. I shall say weather, because we are expecting thunderstorms later this evening and tonight. But, we may be facing Orencia and giving it a try again. We tried it one time before, but for some reason we switched and went to another, so I don't think the Orencia got a fair chance to work. I will post information on it below this post for those who are interested.
https://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Medications/Sulfasalazine_%28Azulfidine%29/

Biologics -  (link will take you to the full definition)

Biologics are genetically engineered proteins derived from human genes. They are designed to inhibit specific components of the immune system that play pivotal roles in fueling inflammation, which is a central feature of rheumatoid arthritis.
Biologics are used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis that has not responded adequately to other treatments. They differ significantly from traditional drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in that they target specific components of the immune system instead of broadly affecting many areas of the immune system. Biologics may be used alone but are commonly given along with other rheumatoid arthritis medications.

Here is a list of a few of the Biologics out - 

Actemra
given by monthly hour-long infusions or weekly (or every other week) injections, is the first IL-6 inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis. IL-6, or interleukin-6, is a chemical messenger of the immune system.
Actemra is used to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in patients who have not responded to one or more TNF inhibitors. TNF inhibitors include Cimzia, Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, and Simponi.
The most common side effects include upper respiratory tract infection, inflammation of the nose or throat, headache, high blood pressure, and elevated liver enzyme level.

Cimzia-
works by blocking the action of a substance in your body called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Cimzia is an injection. Through the use of prefilled syringes, you can give it to yourself once you are taught to do so by a doctor or nurse. After the initial doses, Cimzia can be taken every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the dose your doctor feels is right for you.
In addition to pain at the injection site, the most common side effects seen with Cimzia are upper respiratory infections -- such as a cold -- headache, high blood pressure, inflammation of the nose and throat, and back pain.

Enbrel - 
 reduces joint inflammation and damage from rheumatoid arthritis by blocking a chemical activator of inflammation called tumor necrosis factor (TNF).
Enbrel is also an injection. Enbrel is given by self-injection under the skin once or twice a week. Patients can learn to give their own injections or receive them from a family member or caregiver who has had proper instruction. Preloaded syringes are available as self-injectable “click-pens.”
In addition to pain at the injection site, Enbrel's most common side effects are infection -- including upper respiratory infections like a cold -- diarrhea, rash, and itchy skin.

Humira - 
reduces joint inflammation and damage from rheumatoid arthritis by blocking a chemical activator of inflammation called tumor necrosis factor (TNF).
Humira is an injection. It is given by self-injection under the skin once every two weeks. Patients can learn to give their own injections or receive them from a family member or caregiver who has had proper instruction. Preloaded syringes are available as self-injectable “click-pens.”
In addition to pain at the injection site, the most common side effects with Humira are upper respiratory infection (including sinus infection), headache, rash, nausea, and back pain.

Kineret -  
is a protein that reduces joint inflammation by blocking the action of the chemical messenger interleukin-1. The drug is administered as one injection daily (can be self-injected or given by another individual).
In addition to pain at the injection site, the most common effects with Kineret are upper respiratory infection (including sinus infection), headache, and nausea, and diarrhea.

Orencia - 

is a protein that blocks signals that are needed to activate T-cells of the immune system. Activated T-cells play an important role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. 
Orencia can be given by intravenous infusion monthly or by weekly injection. Orencia's most common side effects are headache, inflammation of the nose and throat, dizziness, cough, and back pain.

Remicade - 
Like Enbrel and Humira, Remicade reduces inflammation and damage from rheumatoid arthritis by blocking a chemical activator of inflammation, tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Remicade is given by intravenous infusion in the doctor's office, an infusion center, or hospital. Each infusion takes about two hours. The intravenous treatments are given three times during the first six weeks of therapy, then every eight weeks thereafter.
The most common side effects of Remicade are upper respiratory infection (including sinus infection), nausea, headache, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

Rituxan - 
is used to treat RA that has not improved with TNF-blockers, such as Enbrel, Humira, or Remicade. Rituxan is an antibody protein that works by targeting and reducing the number of specialized white blood cells, called B cells, in the blood. Rituxan is given as two intravenous infusions -- separated two weeks apart. Repeat courses of Rituxan are considered after four to six months.
Rituxan's most common side effects are fever, chills, nausea, headache, and low levels of white blood cells.

Simponi -
blocks the effects of TNF that triggers inflammation. Simponi is taken once a month by injection or every other month through an IV. After a health care professional shows you how to do a self injection, you can do it yourself at home with either a prefilled syringe or an autoinjector.
In addition to injection site reaction, the most common side effects include upper respiratory infections, runny nose, abnormal liver tests, and high blood pressure.


Simponi Aria -
This medication is used in combination with another drug (methotrexate) to treat a certain type of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis). Golimumab belongs to a class of drugs known as TNF blockers. It works by blocking a protein (tumor necrosis factor - TNF) in your body's immune system that causes joint swelling and damage. Golimumab helps slow joint damage and reduce joint pain/swelling so you can move better. Simponi Aria is usually used as an infusion, where the medications is put into your body through and IV like many of the "stronger" Biologic Medications are.


Our latest venture in the realms of "new medications used to actually "fight" against the issues such as a  ( Rutiuxan, Simppm]

Biosimilars -
also known as follow-on biologics are biologic medical products whose active drug substance is made by a living organism or derived from a living organism by means of recombinant DNA or controlled gene expression methods.
Biosimilars (or follow-on biologics) are terms used to describe officially approved subsequent versions of innovator biopharmaceutical products made by a different sponsor following patent and exclusivity expiry on the innovator product.[1] Biosimilars are also referred to as subsequent entry biologics (SEBs) in Canada.[2] Reference to the innovator product is an integral component of the approval.




More to come .....
I realize that I have not gotten the time I wanted lately to begin putting more information into my blog! So, I decided to do some of that this morning. I dislike having to say a page or site is 
"under construction".  For now, since I have not decided exactly how to go about "listing" the medications, their names, generic names if they have one, what they are used for in the role of Autoimmune Arthritic and the other many autoimmune illnesses that we seem to be inundated with now.

I will also "classify" them ( i.e. biologics for example). Then I will give a small description to go along with them.

I hope to find some advances in these types of medications since we have been so limited to just a few in all of the decades, such as Lupus. I hope to be able to include advanced and NEW medications headed for our "RA" and other AAI diseases also. 




(i.e. always CONSULT your doctor about medications, using them, or any other information you may need. I am just providing some "known" medications in order to give you some help in finding them and so forth. )

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