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Can Drug Help Relieve RA fatigue?

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A reader of Scientific American Consumer Health's Arthritis White Paper asks:†"I have RA and suffer from severe exhaustion. Iím considering whether to use a TNF inhibitor. Do they help ease fatigue?" Here's what we know.

Up to 80 percent of individuals who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) struggle with fatigue, with many reporting that exhaustion is as debilitating as joint pain, if not more so.

The cause of RA-related fatigue appears to be complex, although it is apparent that inflammation-causing proteins called cytokines play a role. Drugs that block these cytokines, known as TNF inhibitors (such as etanercept and adalimumab), have become mainstays in the care of RA. Overall, studies have shown a modest improvement in fatigue levels in patients treated with them.

Recent findings come from a study published in a recent issue of Rheumatology that looked at data from more than 6,800 people with high disease activity who used traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs; close to 40 percent had severe fatigue. When the researchers zeroed in only on RA individuals with severe fatigue, they found that 70 percent experienced significant improvement after they began taking TNF inhibitors. In this study, those most likely to get relief from fatigue tended to be female and in good mental health with no history of depression and little or no disability related to RA. Other studies have reported improvement in males.

If youíre trying to decide whether a TNF inhibitor is right for you, knowing that it might lessen your fatigue is certainly a benefit worth considering.†

Posted in Arthritis on April 10, 2016


Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer


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Scientific American White Paper: Arthritis Cover


2016 Arthritis White Paper


Arthritis now affects millions of Americans. The Scientific American Consumer Health Arthritis White Paper provides in-depth knowledge on the most recent breakthroughs concerning the most common forms of arthritis-osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, it includes two other rheumatic diseases: fibromyalgia syndrome and bursitis, and also ankylosing spondylitis, gout, and lyme disease.

Click here to read more or order




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