Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Learning about RA

Rheumatoid Arthritis

- Autoimmune disease – system malfunctions – turns on itself healthy parts come under attack.

- The faulty system attaches the tissues and other materials in the joints, cartilage, synovial fluid – with fluid to lubricate, ligaments. This causes inflammation and pain, and eventually destroying the joint.

- In some cases patients have organ involvement including the eyes, lungs and membrane around the heart, the damage occurs from inflammation of the vessels supplying the organ or inflammation of the organ issue itself


-Release pain as well as prevent damage, reduce inflammation that is causing the damage

2 categogies – 1st line drugs – pain; 2nd line that treat the disease

NSEADS – popular – reduce pain and swelling – aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen

Corticosteroids are used to treat more se3vere inflammation in the body – mimicking the effects of cortisone which is a hormone that is produced by the body to control inflammation. These have profound side effects

Anti rheumatic drugs – disease modifying drugs – DMARDs – slow the diseases progress by modifying the immune system itself – very slow acting – may take 6 – 8 months to reach full

Biological response modifiers - Biologic agents – expensive - can slow or hault/stop destructive progress by targeting the specific molecule involved in the inflammation process, targeting specific proteins compete for the receptor that tells the cells to be inflamed and reduce inflammation that way. These are often combined with DMARDS or corticosteroids.

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