The most common rheumatoid arthritis drugs are TNF blockers such as Enbrel (approved by FDA 1998, ,Remicade (1999) and Humira (2002). Others include DMARDS and Corticisteroids, Analgesics (painkillers). ~ This is the story they dont want us to know:~
Incidentally, Humira is reputedly the worlds most popular drug, with an estimated turnover for Abbot Pharmaceuticals of $9.6 billion annually. Currently the the rheumatoid arthritic drugs market has a total sales revenue of $41 billion and is estimated to reach $52 billion by 2018 worldwide.
Rheumatoid arthritis, an auto immune disease is sometimes triggered by a signalling protein known as TNF-alpha another trigger being C-reactive protein. (see below)
Tumor Necrosis Factor blockers act on the body by reducing the incidence of TNF-alpha proteins thus reducing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. When Humira was introduced in 2002 researchers raved about the response received by patients. (They probably raved about the $$ they were making too!!)
However in the May 2006 issue JAMA Dr Eric Matheson led a group of researchers from the Mayo Clinic who reported that patients receiving treatment from either Humira (Adalimumab) or Remicade (Infliximab) had twice chance of developing serious infection and three times an increased risk of contracting cancer than those not receiving TNF's.
These conclusions were published after interviewing manufacturers of Remicade and Humira, searching databases of EULAR and ACR meetings as well as undertaking 9 separate trials.
The trials of these rheumatoid arthritis drugs concluded:~ Of the 3493 patients who received TNF blockers 29 developed cancers v 1512 placebo patients on a placebo, where 3 cancers were found. From the same group serious infections such as cellulitis and pneumonia were found in 126 patients on THF blockers and only 26 on the placebo.
Biologic DMARDS(disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) are classified as an immuno-suppressants and, as the name suggests, suppress the immune system ~ that is why arthritis sufferers who have been prescribed these drugs by their doctor often report they can contract a cold, flu or worse – pneumonia 'at the drop of a hat'.
Methotrexate is one of these more popular rheumatoid arthritis drugs and has been linked to destruction of the liver and bone marrow, leading to cirrhosis and osteoporosis respectively. People taking Methotrexate should undergo regular blood tests to monitor blood counts and liver function.
Cyclosporine (Sandimmune) is another DMARD and can cause kidney damage as well as high blood pressure. For those of us who have been afflicted with psoriasis and have been been given Methotrexate are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
Azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan). Azathioprine can cause harm (deformities) to the foetus and has been found in breast milk. It can cause a serious lowering of white blood cells which translates into an increased risk of infections, and possible anaemia or lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes).
What You Can Do:
If you have been subscribed these rheumatoid arthritis drugs there are a number of things you can do to help eliminate these horrific side effects.
Humira - Adalimumab:
Prescribed by your doctor and is a known carcinogen: