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'Biologic' Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Kineret inhibits causes rather than symptoms

MONDAY, Nov. 26, 2001 (HealthDayNews) -- Kineret (anakinra) is the newest treatment for rheumatoid arthritis approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Unlike Celebrex (celecoxib) and Vioxx (rofecoxib), Kineret is known as a "biologic agent." It provides relief by targeting the biological sources of the condition rather than its signs and symptoms, as Celebrex and Vioxx do. The online Drug Guide explains how anakinra and its related biologic partners work.

Enbrel (etanercept) and Remicade (infliximab) are two other biologic agents that treat rheumatoid arthritis. They work on a chemical in the body partly responsible for the joint inflammation that causes pain, erosion, deformities, and the systemic effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

Interleukin-1, another potent inflammation-controlling chemical in the body, has also been identified as contributing to the rheumatoid arthritis disease process. Kineret is an interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (it cuts off the action of the Interlukin-1 receptor in cells) and it has been shown in clinical trials to reduce inflammation in many rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Rheumatologists say they're hopeful that by successfully blocking interleukin-1, an additional weapon has been added to the therapeutic arsenal to prevent the pain and the crippling side effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

The Doctor's Guide to the Internet offers this press release about the recent FDA approval of Kineret.

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