Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Now Approved for Psoriatic Arthritis

A Swiss Army Knife®. A Leatherman® multi-tool. A Dremel® tool. We, as people, love to have tools with multiple functions. The Swiss Army Knife in my pocket boasts 19 tools. The Leatherman I keep in my car has most of the same features, but it includes a pair of pliers. I’ve used my Dremel for everything from carving wood to removing floor tile glue.

If we can have something that can do more than one thing, we like it. In this case, Bristol-Myers Squibb is going to reap some big rewards from the psoriatic arthritis crowd.
Orencia® (abatacept) has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. It has already been approved for adult rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis in 2005 and 2008 respectively. It comes as an injection under the skin or an intravenous infusion.
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis caused by inflammation.

It may affect any joint in the body, but it is most common in the fingers, toes and knees. There is commonly stiffness and loss of range of motion along with swelling. There seems to be a strong correlation between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in that approximately 85 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis were diagnosed with psoriasis previously.

Orencia’s effectiveness was demonstrated in two double-blind studies. Each study used placebos for the control group. The studies also found that taking Orencia at the same time as taking a TNF inhibitor significantly increased the likelihood of infections; therefore, taking both at the same time is not recommended.

Participants in the study did not take Orencia without experiencing some side effects. Infections, headaches and nausea were the most common of these adverse events. If you’re suffering from psoriatic arthritis, you should consider talking with your doctor to see if Orencia is right for you.

Read an article announcing the FDA approval by clicking here.

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