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Selective Costimulation Modulators: Addressing Unmet Needs in Rheumatoid Arthritis Management: Targeted Biological Therapies for RA


Targeted Biological Therapies for RA

The current treatment options in RA include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; corticosteroids; synthetic DMARDs, such as methotrexate (MTX), hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine, leflunomide, and others; and more recently developed biological DMARDs, which target the specific downstream inflammatory mediators TNF-alpha (infliximab, etanercept, and adalimumab) or IL-1 (anakinra).[8] MTX remains the most widely used agent for initial therapy, although combination therapy has become increasingly common during the last decade, as several clinical trials have demonstrated that combination treatment is superior to monotherapy with DMARDs.[8] At present, none of the available treatments are a cure for RA, and joint damage is largely irreversible. Therefore, the goals of treatment are to produce a remission of symptoms and a full restoration of function with long-term therapy.