The evolution of rheumatoid arthritis treatment
has provided more and more targeted therapies that do a better job of controlling the underlying cause of RA — an overactive immune system that attacks healthy joints.
The newest drug class to get FDA approval is janus kinase inhibitors, or
— And they’re the most targeted treatment yet. But to understand exactly how they work, it helps to first see where they fit in the context of other RA drugs.
These drugs suppress the immune system on a broad level to reduce symptoms and prevent disease progression.
Let's start with
Each type of biologic blocks a specific inflammatory protein or cell that is thought to cause RA by attaching to the outside of it.
This newer class of DMARDs joined the scene in the 1990s, and are more targeted in how they attack the immune system.
But RA researchers didn’t stop there.
That’s because JAK inhibitors work inside immune cells to shut down communication in the response pathway that leads to inflammation in your joints.
deliver an even more targeted approach.
And a growing amount of research is showing that some JAK inhibitors may be an even more effective RA treatment than biologic drugs.
When it comes to treating RA, you have a lot of options.
Within each of these drug classes, there are multiple medications to try. Your doctor might also combine two or more medications to find the right treatment for you.
If you’re having trouble finding the right treatment plan, don’t give up.
It may take some trial and error — and what works best for other people might not be what works best for you. But with new medications like JAK inhibitors — and more on the horizon — more and more people can gain control of their RA and find relief.