Sickle cell disease manifests as a genetic blood condition known as sickle cell anemia. The change in the red blood cells usually observed forms when you have sickle cell anemia, going from being round, flexible discs to rigid, sticky sickle cells that obstruct blood flow. About half of those with sickle cell anemia survive into their 50s through early identification and the latest therapies.
Compared with healthy red blood cells, sickle cells have a shorter lifespan. Anemia is called sickle cell anemia since a patient doesn’t produce enough healthy red blood cells.
Children born with sickle cell disease hardly ever make it to adulthood. Nearly half of those with sickle cell anemia now reach their 50s owing to early identification and modern therapies. Sickle cell anemia patients continue to remain at risk for possibly fatal medical issues. Furthermore, medical professionals have procedures that lessen the likelihood of problems and soothe symptoms. Still, no appropriate medical therapy for sickle cell disease is accessible in many parts of the world.
Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease
The symptoms of sickle cell disease often appear in newborns around the age of five months. Each person’s symptoms are unique and evolve gradually. The following are the symptoms of SCD.
Sickle cells are more delicate than normal red blood cells and often disappear or die after 10 to 20 days. Almost 120 days is the average cell life span in this way. This leads to the loss of red blood cells, called anemia.
Fatigue results from a lack of red blood cells because it affects the transport of oxygen throughout the body.
Pain attacks are a common sign of sickle cell disease. Pain in your chest, belly, joints, and bones is brought on by red blood cells with a sclerotic form that obstructs blood flow via small blood arteries. The pain’s level and frequency might change, and sometimes, you might need to visit the hospital.
Hands and feet swelling:
Swelling results from sickle-shaped red blood cells obstructing blood flow to the hands and feet.
Risk of infections:
Ulcers may develop when sickle cells harm your tissues. Also, it’s possible you might get infections if they affect your spleen. Healthcare professionals usually give SCD patients immunizations and medications to avoid potentially harmful infections.
Jaundice or Yellowing of Skin and eyes:
It may happen due to damaged sickle RBCs.
Sickle cells may get lodged in the blood arteries that nourish your eyes, negatively affecting your retina and impairing your eyesight.
Children with SCD may develop more slowly than other kids. Teenagers affected by SCD may reach puberty later than similar-aged teenagers.
One more severe and unexpected consequence affecting sickle cell patients is the chance of a stroke. The damaged cells might block the main blood arteries that provide oxygen to the brain. Severe brain injury may occur if the blood and oxygen supply to the brain is eliminated. A stroke caused by sickle cell anemia increases your chance of a second and third stroke.
Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease
Hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea, Siklos)
Using daily hydroxyurea lowers the incidence of painful crises and may lessen the requirement for hospitalization and blood transfusions. However, it could enhance the chances of infections. If you are pregnant, avoid using the medication.
L-glutamine oral powder (Endari)
This drug recently got approval from the FDA to treat sickle cell anemia. The likelihood of pain can be minimized by using this drug.
Adults and children over 12 may take this drug to treat sickle cell disease. This medication, when taken orally, may increase blood flow throughout the body and reduce the risk of anemia. The possible adverse effects are headache, nausea, diarrhea, exhaustion, rash, and fever.
For sickle cell-related pain issues, your doctor may also prescribe narcotic analgesics (painkillers) to reduce pain severity.
What is Adakveo?
Adakveo is a brand-name prescription drug called Crizanlizumab. This drug is FDA to avoid vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) in adults and children 16 years of age and older with sickle cell disease. VOC is another name for a pain crisis.
The hereditary disorder sickle cell disease alters the structure of your red blood cells. Most often, sickle cell disease is discovered in newborns.
Few individuals with sickle cell disease have a pain crisis. Pain crises often result in intense pain. Additionally, this may result in a blood clot, raising the danger of organ damage and stroke.
Administration of Adakveo
Adakveo is administered as an intravenous (IV) infusion into your arm—it is a liquid solution. (An infusion is an injection that is slowly injected into your vein.) The dosage of the drug is 100 milligrams of the drug per 10 milliliters of solution.
Adakveo may be administered in an infusion suite, a medical facility designed exclusively for infusions. It can also be given to doctor’s clinics and hospitals. Rarely, a nurse may be able to provide the infusion to you at home.
Adakveo is a member of the class of drugs known as selectin blockers. Crizanlizumab is the active ingredient of Adakveo.
FDA approval of Adakveo
In November 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized and approved Adakveo. The first targeted therapy for a pain emergency is adakveo. This indicates that it functions differently from other pain relief drugs. Adakveo identifies blood cells and prevents blood clots as opposed to alleviating the pain.
Important Adverse Reactions of Adakveo
Some adverse effects include nausea, joint discomfort, back pain, and fever. Fewer than 10% of patients receiving ADAKVEO noted clinically significant adverse effects such as oropharyngeal pain, infusion site reaction, diarrhea, vomiting, pruritus (including vulvovaginal pruritus), musculoskeletal chest pain, and myalgia.
Gout is arthritis that affects the joints and produces severe pain, swelling, and stiffness. The metatarsophalangeal joint is primarily affected by gout at the base of the big toe. The primary reason is accumulating a high amount of uric acid in the body.
The most prevalent inflammatory arthritis in men is gout, affecting over 3 million Americans. Females are more prone to gout after menopause, even though the disease affects them less.
Gout episodes may strike suddenly and may repeat over time. This continuous recurrence may cause tissue damage at the inflammation site over time and can be extremely painful. Gout is caused by high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
Some people have only acute gout episodes once or twice a year (or even 1-2 times in a lifetime). Gout may, however, be a chronic, recurring condition for certain people, with several acute symptoms occurring at short intervals and no full clearance of inflammation between attacks.
This gout, known as chronic gout, may lead to the destruction of joints and deformity and may be misinterpreted as chronic inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis.
Uric acid tophi (hard, uric acid deposits beneath the skin) are common and contribute to the deterioration of bone and cartilage. Tophi diagnose chronic tophaceous gout. Tophi may be present in the olecranon bursa, the olecranon bursa, or the ear’s pinna. Finally, tophi may be dissolved with therapy and will eventually dissolve.
Chronic tophaceous gout is the most devastating gout and may cause irreversible joint and kidney impairment. Individuals with chronic arthritis and tophi in colder parts of the body, like the joints of the fingers, might develop tophi at this stage.
After several years of acute gout episodes, chronic tophaceous gout develops. But, individuals who get good therapy are unlikely to reach this level.
Symptoms of Chronic Gout
What follows are the signs and symptoms of chronic gout that may occur suddenly, especially at night.
Intense Joint Pain.
Gout is often concerned with the big toe, although it may affect any joint. The other joints typically afflicted are ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and fingers. The pain will likely be the worst during the first four to twelve hours after it starts.
Some joint soreness may remain from a few days to a few weeks after the most acute pain has subsided. Episodes are more likely to continue longer and damage more joints.
Presence of Inflammation and redness.
Swollen, sensitive, heated, and redness develop in the afflicted joint or joints.
Limited range of motion.
Your movement may become restricted with chronic gout’s intense pain and discomfort.
Medical therapy and self-management measures may treat and control gout. Your health care physician may recommend a medical treatment strategy to manage gout-related pain.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen, steroids, and the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine, are used to treat flares.
- Making dietary and lifestyle adjustments to avoid future flare-ups, including decreasing weight, restricting alcohol, and eating fewer purine-rich foods (such as red meat or organ meat), may help prevent recurring attacks.
- Changing or quitting hyperuricemia drugs (such as diuretics) may also assist.
- Tophi and kidney stones may result from chronically elevated uric acid levels. Tophi are uric acid deposits beneath the skin that are hard and painful.
- Preventive treatment to decrease uric acid levels in the blood with medications like allopurinol, febuxostat, and pegloticase may be recommended for those with recurrent acute flares or chronic gout.
Chronic Gout and KRYTEXXA
Chronic gout treatment is now possible with KRYSTEXXA, which works by changing uric acid into a water-soluble substance known as allantoin. It can be removed through urine from the body. Some have observed that administering only one IV dose of KRYSTEXXA lowers uric acid levels—it does this by dissolving them. It is possible to clear uric acid crystal build-ups that were deposited many years ago.
KRYSTEXXA is the only FDA-approved medicine to treat chronic gout. For more than ten years, it has been the only drug used by the patients to control chronic gout otherwise not controlled or treated by other medicines. According to research studies, the results can be seen with 1 IV treatment every other week for almost six months.
Important information you should know about KRYSTEXXA?
Sometimes, individuals who get KRYSTEXXA may experience severe allergic reactions. These allergic reactions can be fatal and usually occur within two hours after receiving the infusion.
A doctor or nurse should only administer KRYSTEXXA in a facility where severe allergic reactions can be managed. During and after your treatment with KRYSTEXXA, your doctor or nurse should watch for any signs of a significant allergic response.
Administration and Dosage:
KRYSTEXXA is administered via intravenous infusion bi-weekly.
Common Side Effects of KRYSTEXXA. :
The following are the common side effects of KRYSTEXXA.
- Fast or weak heartbeat
- Throat tightness
- Swelling of tongue or throat
- Hoarse voice
- Trouble swallowing
- Feeling warm
- Chest pain
- Breathing issues
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing sound
- Chest tightness
Precautions for KRYSTEXXA.
Before you receive KRYSTEXXA, tell your doctor if you:
- If the doctor prescribes you KRYSTEXXA, tell your doctor if you:
- If you have a known deficiency of G6PD .
- If you have suffered from or currently have high blood pressure and heart problems.
- In cases where a female is pregnant or wants to become pregnant; it is unknown whether KRYSTEXXA will harm your unborn baby.
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, it is unknown if KRYSTEXXA affects your child if it passes into breast milk.
- Make a list of all your medications and provide it to your doctor. While taking KRYSTEXXA, take no other uric acid-lowering medication, including allopurinol or febuxostat.
- Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help you avoid a reaction before you begin treatment with KRYSTEXXA. Follow the instructions of your doctor or nurse for taking these medications. To monitor your response to KRYSTEXXA, your doctor will test your uric acid levels before each session.
According to recent studies, more than 7.5 million Americans live with psoriasis, a chronic skin disorder that causes the body to make new skin cells too quickly.
There are several types of this disease. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, Plaque psoriasis is the most common form, affecting between 80%-90% of people with psoriasis.
While there is currently no cure for psoriasis, including plaque psoriasis, understanding the disorder is the first step to living a thriving, active life while controlling flare ups and symptoms.
What is Plaque Psoriasis?
Plaque psoriasis causes your immune system to overreact, leading to inflammation in the body and new skin cells growing too fast. As a result, raised, inflamed, and scaly patches appear on the skin.
Plaques can appear anywhere on the skin but are commonly found on the:
They also tend to emerge on both sides of your body. For example, if you have plaque psoriasis on your left knee, it will most likely appear on your right knee.
Types of plaque psoriasis
There are four main types of plaque psoriasis:
Symptoms of plaque psoriasis
Symptoms can vary from person to person. Besides raised patches on the skin, other common symptoms include:
Causes and triggers of Plaque Psoriasis
The exact cause of plaque psoriasis is still unknown. However, many experts agree that the immune system, environmental factors, and genetics contribute to this disease.
Plaque psoriasis outbreaks can occur due to:
Comorbidities associated with plaque psoriasis
Comorbidities are one or more additional medical conditions in a person who already has a chronic illness.
Common comorbidities connected to plaque psoriasis are:
Treatment options for plaque psoriasis
Unfortunately, plaque psoriasis is a lifelong condition. However, there are ways to control flare ups and reduce painful, debilitating symptoms.
Managing your plaque psoriasis depends on a few things such as how much skin is affected, how bad the disease is, and the location. Your dermatologist or family physician will be able to help develop a treatment plan that works best for you.
Always consult with your dermatologist or family doctor before trying these treatments.
Skincare for plaque psoriasis
What you put on your skin plays a significant role in getting your plaque psoriasis under control while relieving symptoms. Look for hypoallergenic, alcohol-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free products when it comes to plaque psoriasis moisturizers and soaps.
Some skincare products to consider for your plaque psoriasis are:
Plaque psoriasis skin care tip: Look for the National Psoriasis Foundation’s Seal of Recognition on psoriasis safe products!
While there’s no set diet for people living with plaque psoriasis, sticking to healthy, nutritious foods is important to decrease inflammation in your body and reduce flare ups.
When looking at your diet, stay away from foods that cause inflammation, like alcohol, dairy, refined carbs, gluten, added sugar, saturated fats, and trans fats. Replace with foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, like:
- omega-3 fatty acids – salmon, shellfish, walnuts, and soybeans
- fruits and vegetables – leafy greens, berries, and pineapple
- healthy fats – avocado, olives, olive oil, and coconut oil
- high-quality protein – beans, lentils, nuts, cage-free eggs, tuna
Topical prescription medications
If over-the-counter creams aren’t working, your dermatologist may recommend a prescription medication that goes directly on your skin to help with inflammation and delay skin cell growth.
These prescription topicals include:
Phototherapy (light therapy)
Phototherapy, or light therapy, exposes the affected area of your skin to ultraviolet light. There are a few different types of phototherapy used to manage plaque psoriasis, such as:
Systemic treatments are prescription medications that work throughout the body for moderate to severe cases of plaque psoriasis. They are also used if you don’t respond well to phototherapy or topical creams.
There are two types of systemic treatment: non-biological (tablets or capsules) and biologic (injections or IV infusions).
Non-biological systemic medications include:
Common biologic systemic treatments include:
Understanding (and avoiding) triggers, sticking to a psoriasis-friendly skincare routine, creating a healthy lifestyle, and taking medications when needed, can help you manage your plaque psoriasis and improve your quality of life.
If you feel depressed or overwhelmed, there are resources available online and in your community to offer support and strategies for coping. Talk to your doctor or visit the below websites for more information.
National Psoriasis Foundation
Managing your plaque psoriasis requires an individualized treatment plan that includes medication, lifestyle changes, and mental health care. Specialty Infusion Centers collaborate with your specialist to provide infusion therapy based on your predetermined treatment plan.
Our centers offer private suites, amenities, and flexible evening and weekend appointments. All you have to focus on is feeling better! Reach us to learn more or get started today!
Ocrevus, which is the generic name for the pharmaceutical drug, Ocrelizumab, is prescribed to treat relapsing types of multiple sclerosis (MS), such as clinically isolated syndrome, illness, and active secondary progressive disease in individuals with primary progressive MS.
Ocrevus uses a therapeutic monoclonal antibody that takes a novel approach to treat multiple sclerosis. It targets CD20-positive B cells, a type of immune cell that plays a critical role in the disease. The FDA has approved Ocrevus to treat relapsing or primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). Ocrevus is administered as an intravenous (IV) infusion once every six months.
Who can take Ocrevus?
Individuals with active relapsing-remitting MS and highly active relapsing-remitting MS who are unable to take Lemtrada may be given Ocrevus.
Contraindications of Ocrevus:
Consult your doctor about any current medications you are taking or underlying illnesses you already have to ensure that this drug will be right for you. If you have severe illnesses such as cancer or serious infections like HIV/AIDS or hepatitis B, you may not be a good candidate for the medication.
Conception and pregnancy:
While you are being treated with Ocrevus, it is advised to abstain from pregnancy. If you are planning for a baby, consult your health care provider for advice concerning your personal situation. During treatment and for 12 months after stopping Ocrevus, women of childbearing age must use a form of contraception.
Administration and Dosage of Ocrevus:
Ocrevus is administered as a biweekly intravenous infusion for two doses, followed by a maintenance dosage for six months.
Common Side Effects of Ocrevus:
Infections and reactions to infusions are common side effects of Ocrevus.
Tysabri, the generic brand name for the pharmaceutical drug natalizumab is a medication used to treat patients with relapsing forms of MS. It can reduce the frequency of flare-ups and help prevent physical limitations as a result of the disease from rapidly worsening.
The mechanism of Tysbari is different from other multiple sclerosis medications. It prevents white blood cells in the immune system from accessing the brain and spinal cord, which scientists believe plays a key part in the progression of MS’s debilitating symptoms.
The FDA has approved Tysabri as a monotherapy (not to be used in conjunction with other disease-modifying medicines) for the treatment of relapsing types of multiple sclerosis, such as clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease (RRMS), and active secondary progressive disease (ASPD) (SPMS with relapses).
Administration and Dosage:
Tysabri is administered every four weeks through intravenous infusions.
Common Side Effects:
Adverse side effects of Tysabri include liver dysfunction, allergic reactions, a compromised immune system and low platelet counts. Tysabri may also cause complications if you have certain forms of herpes, leading to severe and possibly fatal, herpes infections. Call your doctor right away if you experience any herpes infections.
Other side effects of the drug include headache, fatigue, urinary tract infections, joint pain, lung infections, depression, pain in the arms or legs, diarrhea, and vaginitis. Rash, nose and throat infections, nausea, and stomach discomfort are all symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Consult your healthcare provider if any side effects you experience worsen in severity or persist for a long period of time.
Difference between Ocrevus Vs Tysabri
Monoclonal antibodies such as Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) injection and Tysabri (natalizumab) are used to treat relapse types of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Ocrevus is also used to treat primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS).
In adults, Tysabri is prescribed to treat moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. Tysabri is frequently used when previous Crohn’s disease drugs have failed to treat the illness effectively. Monoclonal antibodies like Ocrevus and Tysabri are two different kinds. Tysabri is a recombinant humanised IgG4, a monoclonal antibody, and Ocrevus, a CD20-directed cytolytic antibody.
Depression is a common side effect of both Ocrevus and Tysabri. Infections like upper and lower respiratory tract infections, infusion reactions (such as itching, rash, hives, redness, bronchospasm, throat irritation and swelling, mouth pain, shortness of breath, flushing, hypotension, fever, fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, and fast heart rate), skin problems, backache, and pain in the legs and feet are all side effects of Ocrevus that do not occur with Tysabri.
Headache, tiredness, joint or muscle pain, redness or irritation at the injection site, swelling hands/feet/ankles, changes in the menstrual cycle, painful menstrual cramps, stomach pain, diarrhea, skin rash, and cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, or sore throat are all side effects of Tysabri.
Both Ocrevus and Tysabri have the potential to interact with other immune-modulating or immunosuppressive medicines, such as immunosuppressive corticosteroids, chemotherapy, or radiation.
What drugs interact with Ocrevus?
Interaction of Ocrevus can occur when it is taken in combination with other immunosuppressive agents and immune-modulating therapies such as immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids. It is essential to consult your doctor about all the supplements and medications you are currently using to prevent any drug complications,
What drugs interact with Tysabri?
Interactions of Tysabri can occur when it is taken in combination with medicines that may affect the immune system like sirolimus, interferon cyclosporine, azathioprine, tacrolimus, mofetil, muromonab-CD3, leflunomide, basiliximab, etanercept, radiation treatment and chemotherapy.
How should Ocrevus be taken?
Before starting Ocrevus, you must undergo a hepatitis B virus test. Before each infusion, take methylprednisolone (or a comparable corticosteroid) and an antihistamine. The initial dose of Ocrevus is a 300 mg intravenous infusion, followed by a second 300 mg intravenous infusion two weeks later, and a 600 mg intravenous infusion every six months after that.
How should Tysabri be taken?
300mg is the suggested dose of Tysabri for Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis through intravenous infusion over one hour every four weeks.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body’s immune system is fighting against itself. Immunity is the body’s natural defense against a foreign intruder, such as a virus, bacterium, or damage. Chronic inflammation is triggered when the immune system is overactive. RA is a kind of arthritis that mostly affects joints, wrists, hands, and knees–but may also harm internal organs, including the circulatory system. In addition, rheumatoid arthritis damages the lining of joints and connective tissue (known as the synovial membrane), leading to swelling that may lead to bone erosion and joint degeneration in the long run.
Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Medical professionals and experts don’t fully understand the condition because of its complicated nature.
Initially, the signs of RA include joint swelling, pain, and stiffness, which often appear gradually and subtly, with symptoms accumulating progressively over weeks to months and worsening over time. In addition, the tiny hand bones (especially those at the base and middle of the fingers), the base of the toes, and the wrists are often affected by RA. According to the Arthritis Foundation, morning stiffness that lasts 30 minutes or more is another sign of RA.
RA is a condition that worsens with time. When RA includes inflammation that cannot be managed, it may spread to other body regions, leading to various serious catastrophic problems that can impact other organs, including the nerves, heart, and lungs, and create considerable long-term damage. Therefore, if you’re having RA symptoms, it’s critical to see your medical professional as soon as possible to get the therapy you need.
Risk factors for RA
Experts and researchers have studied various factors, including environmental and genetic, regarding the risk of developing RA.
The following are the risk factors that increase the chances of RA:
As we know, smoking is harmful to health. Similarly, cigarette smoking leads to the development of RA and may be a risk factor to worsen the disease.
You may suffer from RA at any age, although it becomes more likely as you become older. The chances of getting RA are higher in people more than 60 years of age.
The occurrence of RA was seen as higher (two-to-three times) in women compared to men.
The risk of developing RA is higher in people born with specific genes. These genes may aggravate RA and are commonly known as HLA (human leukocyte antigen) class II genotypes. When persons with these genes are exposed to environmental variables like smoking or obesity, the risk of RA increases.
History of live births
The risk of developing RA is high in women who have never given birth.
Early Life Exposures
Early childhood events may enhance the likelihood of having RA later in life. According to research studies, children whose moms smoked had a twofold increased chance of developing RA. In addition, children of lower-income parents are more likely to get RA.
Obesity might raise your chances of acquiring RA. Obesity has a role in RA development, as per research. The more overweight a person is, the greater their chance of developing the disease.
Treatments of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Infliximab is a drug mainly prescribed for inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and Crohn’s disease. It is a monoclonal anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha antibody used in inflammatory conditions.
In 1998, the FDA initially authorized infliximab as an intravenous injection and sold it under the brand name Remicade. It was prescribed for inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, in conjunction with methotrexate, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn’s disease in adults and children, ulcerative colitis in adults and children, ankylosing spondylitis, and plaque psoriasis. The signs and symptoms of inflammatory disorders were reduced by multiple infusions of infliximab and induced remission in individuals who had an unsatisfactory reaction to other first-line therapy for that ailment in clinical studies.
BELIMUMAB (Benlysta) is a soluble B lymphocyte stimulator-binding human monoclonal antibody. Rheumatoid arthritis is not treated with Benlysta. However, it may be used for RA as off-label medicine. (A medicine is used off-label to treat a disease for which it has not been authorized.) Results of limited research show the beneficial effects of Benlysta in the treatment of RA. However, additional investigations are required to confirm these findings.
Simponi (golimumab) is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and is a monoclonal antibody derived from human IgG1k. It also treats ankylosing spondylitis. In addition, Simponi is occasionally used in conjunction with a drug called methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall). Simponi works by preventing the body’s immune system from producing a protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which causes joint swelling and destruction.
The immune system produces a high amount of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. This may result in joint inflammation, discomfort, and injury. TNF is blocked by anti-TNF medications like golimumab, which reduces inflammation. Golimumab isn’t a painkiller, but it may help you cope with the symptoms of the illness. The improvement in the symptoms may be seen after 8–12 weeks.
The first medicine to target particular B immune cells is Rituxan, which is thought to have a role in inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It was authorized by the FDA two months ago for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis who had failed previous biologic therapy. Rituxan is given as an intravenous infusion.
In recent research, Rituxan, in conjunction with the disease-modifying antirheumatic medication (DMARD) methotrexate, improved symptoms in just over half of RA patients.
Individuals who received modest doses of Rituxan reacted just as well as those who received greater doses and adding steroids to the mix did not seem to enhance results.
ORENCIA is a drug used to treat moderate to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and void additional damage to your bones and joints and improve your capacity to do everyday tasks. It is usually used in persons aged 18 and above. ORENCIA might benefit those who aren’t receiving the outcomes they want from other RA medications.
ORENCIA may be taken by adults alone or in combination with other RA therapies such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists, or Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, or biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic medications (bDMARDs).
CIMZIA is a prescription medicine used in adults to reduce the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease (CD) in adults who have not been treated sufficiently by traditional therapies. It is a Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blocker. It is recommended to treat rheumatoid arthritis that is moderately to severely active (RA) and Psoriatic arthritis. In addition, CIMZIA is a prescription drug that makes your immune system less effective in fighting infections.
What is Myasthenia Gravis?
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that has the potential to lead to skeletal muscle weakness. This is due to the antibodies destroying the connection between the muscles and nerves in this disorder. It has an effect on the voluntary muscles of the body, including the throat, mouth, eyes, and limbs. It may hit at any age, yet most probably it affects older men of 50 and younger women of 20 to 30. The exact cause of myasthenia gravis is not known, and it is incurable. However, there is a chance to treat with a medication that may help manage the disease. It may make your life more functional.
Treatment of Myasthenia Gravis with Vyvgart
Vyvgart is a neonatal Fc receptor blocker implied in order to treat myasthenia gravis (gMG) in adult patients who are anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody positive.
How does Vyvgart works?
Vyvgart is a medication specially designed to attach and block neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn). It results in the decrease of IgG antibodies, including AChR antibodies that lead to severe gMG symptoms. Basically, what happens in FcRn receptors has the tendency to extend the life of IgG antibodies. So, when these receptors are blocked by Vyvgart and decrease the antibodies that play a role in causing MG symptoms, it automatically reduces the dispute between nerve-muscle communication. When AChR antibodies are removed, they are no longer available to cause MS by destroying the communication between nerves and muscles. Therefore, the research presents Vyvgart as effective in order to control Myasthenia gravis and its symptoms.
Administration and dosage of Vyvgart
Vyvgart is administered as an intravenous infusion by a healthcare professional as per a doctor’s directions. Usually, this medication is given over one hour, once weekly, for around 4 weeks. However, its dosage depends upon the medical condition, weight, and the response of the patient to treatment. Roughly, patients with a weight of 120 kg or even more should take around 1200 mg per infusion.
It is recommended by the doctor to dilute Vyvgart IV with 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP before administration. Doctors recommend administering the following treatment cycles that depend upon the clinical evaluation. People who feel complications or do not feel any better after infusions of Vyvgart should contact their physicians as soon as possible.
Whenever you take a medicine, make sure you take a correct dosage. Never overdose with the medicine. Similarly, an overdosage of Vyvgart may lead to severe symptoms, including being out of breath. You should undergo medical tests, including CBC, before utilizing this medicine. Try not to take it after storage in the home. It can only be given at the clinic, and accurate dosage can be ensured at the clinic. Follow all precautions before taking any medicines.
You should follow all precautions when taking any medication. Otherwise, you may cause more health concerns for yourself.
It is essential to tell your past history of allergies and infections to the pharmacist or doctor before using Vyvgart. If you have other problems, this medication may cause health concerns for you. It has inactive ingredients that lead to problems with other reactions. Therefore, there is a need to tell every medical detail to the doctor.
This medication, no doubt, is effective for MS. However, it has the tendency to cause serious infections or worsen other current or recent infections. Try to avoid contact with the people who currently or recently have chickenpox, flu, or measles. If you are going to have any immunization or vaccination, tell the doctor about your Vyvgart prescription. Try not to be in contact with anyone who has acquired live vaccines recently.
Additionally, it is crucial to discuss Vyvgart before having any surgery. If your other physician recommends you take medicine for any other health concern, tell him about Vyvgart. Never take herbal products, non-prescription drugs, supplements, and vitamins without consulting your doctor.
If you’re pregnant or planning to conceive, let the doctor know about it. Because during pregnancy, it should only be given when badly needed. The risks and advantages of Vyvgart should be discussed with pregnant women. Also, mothers who have used Vyvgart to manage MG during or right before pregnancy should consult their doctor about vaccinations for newborns. The research is not evident whether the drug passes into breast milk or not. However, if you’re breastfeeding, always tell your doctor.
The efficacy and safety of Vyvgart has been evaluated before approval. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Vyvgart in order to treat myasthenia gravis (gMG). They have observed the clinical study of 26 weeks with 167 patients of myasthenia gravis. The study shows that patients with MG with antibodies were more likely to respond well to the treatment during the first cycle of Vyvgart. The FDA has confirmed the efficacy of this medication after clinical trials. They have also observed the side effects. Let’s have a look at the side effects.
Medications come with both their pros and cons. Here are the common yet severe side effects of Vyvgart.
Common side effects include:
- Muscle pain, numbness, and tingling on the skin
- Severe sore throat
- Burning and painful urination
- Chill and cough
- Rash and itching on tongue and face
- Dizziness and difficulty in breathing
These side effects occur as the medication reduces the ability of a person to fight infections. It eventually makes you more prone to having other infections. Therefore, if you feel any of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
Vyvgart is more inclined to elevate the risk of infection. The research shows that people taking Vyvgart are more prone to having urinary tract infections and respiratory tract infections. Most of the infections and hematologic abnormalities caused by Vyvgart are mild to moderate. Those who have an active infection should delay the dosage of this medication as it may lead to more severe consequences. Patients should try to monitor their clinical signs of infections while being treated with Vyvgart.
Learn more about Vyvgart.
What is Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS)?
Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS) is a rare disease that affects kidney function. It leads to abnormal blood clots (thrombi) forming in the small blood vessels in the kidneys. Severe medical problems can be caused by these clots if they block or restrict blood flow. Atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome is primarily characterized by three significant features concerning abnormal clotting. Those three features include hemolytic anemia, kidney failure, and thrombocytopenia. It can happen at any age.
A person with aHUS may experience severe complications as this disease leads the body to develop many blood clots. It ultimately causes the blood to flow slowly to other important organs. These complications include kidney damage, kidney failure, high blood pressure, heart disease, or even heart attack.
Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome is a complex disorder that can be caused due to various factors. These include environmental, genetic, and immunological factors. There’s no proper cure, but treatments are available to deal with Atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome. Let’s explore the effective treatments for atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Here are the most effective treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Soliris® (Eculizumab) is defined as a monoclonal antibody that is preferred to treat atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). It is given to the patient through intravenous infusion. Doctors may recommend it for 4 weeks pursued by the 5th dose 1 week afterward and then every 2 weeks subsequently. Basically, Soliris is a first-in-class terminal complement inhibitor that is used to target uncontrolled complement activation. It is prescribed for patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome to inhibit complement-mediated TMA. FDA has approved it for the treatment of aHUS. Long-term renal and TMA outcomes can be enhanced and improved in patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome by Soliris. The research shows that Soliris has been effective in patients with aHUS.
The Isaac an Abt MD Professor of Kidney Diseases, Craig B. Langman, M.D., Head of Kidney Diseases, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, has stated that Soliris has significantly reduced the TMA process in clinical trials. This process is responsible for renal impairment, thrombosis, angina, and seizures in patients with aHUS. When this is markedly lowered, it shows a significant efficiency in aHUS patients. They further added that this therapy is efficient in restoring kidney function.
The research has shown that Soliris has the tendency to enhance red blood cell count and platelets. It tends to reverse acute kidney damage and may prevent kidney failure. It is effective when taken not too late into a diagnosis.
Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome is a life-threatening disease that can be transformed significantly with the help of Soliris. It does not just work for the patients with aHUS but is also used to treat Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria, Generalized Myasthenia Gravis, and Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder.
It is necessary for the patient to tell their medical history to their doctor. If you have aHUS and you go to the doctor for treatment, you should tell them about your current condition, because Soliris can cause severe kinds of allergic reactions. So, those who have a history of allergic reactions are less likely to adopt this treatment. Patients who undergo Shiga toxin E. coli hemolytic uremic syndrome (STEC-HUS) can’t be prescribed Soliris.
Basically, Soliris is not a therapy that can be prescribed to everyone. It has limitations of allergy, pregnancy, and other severe diseases. The research has not found any adverse effects of Soliris in pregnant women, though doctors think twice before prescribing it to them.
Ultomiris® (Ravulizumab) is a humanized monoclonal antibody that is used to treat patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). This therapy inhibits complement protein C5 that proves to be effective in aHUS patients. Many countries, including the USA, have adopted Ultomiris® (Ravulizumab) as a treatment of aHUS.
Basically, Ultomiris and Soliris are not so different because Ravulizumab has been re-engineered by eculizumab. Both Soliris and Ultomiris inhibit the cleavage of the complement factor, which helps them prevent the formation of complex clots within blood vessels. These therapies eventually help extend the terminal elimination half-life. Its maintenance dosage regimen is 4-8 weeks. Ultomiris is also given through an intravenous drip (infusion). The frequency and the dose of the therapy depend upon the age and the body weight of the patient. Adult and pediatric patients can easily tolerate Ultomiris as it resolves TMA and has a similar mechanism to Soliris. However, its duration of action is 4-fold longer. It was eventually considered as a reliable treatment option for patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The research has shown that Ultomiris has proven to be efficient in patients with postpartum aHUS. Doctors may start the treatment with eculizumab and later shift to Ravulizumab. Its safety is enhanced. There are no unexpected safety events seen in the clinical trials.
Patients usually tolerate Ultomiris well, but as every therapy has adverse effects, so does Ultomiris. These are minor adverse effects, including diarrhea, headache, and vomiting. It is one of the most well-known, reliable, and efficient treatments for adults and pediatric patients of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Living with aHUS
Cases of aHUS are not similar, which makes it difficult for a doctor to understand the exact condition. Those who experience aHUS symptoms should go to a kidney doctor (nephrologist) or a blood doctor (hematologist). They will assess and monitor a patient’s current condition. If you have aHUS, you may need to follow regular blood tests to check your kidney health, red blood cells, and platelet count on a regular basis.
What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is an arthritis form that influences people with psoriasis. Psoriasis is a disease that often leads to red patches of skin dotted with silvery scales. People who have gone through psoriasis at some point in their life are more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis. The main indications of psoriatic arthritis included stiffness, joint pain, and swelling. If you experience this, any body part can be affected, including your spine, fingertips, etc. Its impact varies and moves from mild to severe gradually. Disease flares can rotate with episodes of remission in both psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis.
Let’s discover more facts about psoriatic arthritis related to its symptoms and treatments.
Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis both have their own impact on the body. The symptoms worsen with the passage of time. Sometimes, symptoms go away for a short period of time and come back even stronger. Other times, they may improve gradually, it varies from person to person.
Your single joint or both joints may be affected due to psoriatic arthritis. Those who know about rheumatoid arthritis know that their symptoms are quite similar, including swollen and painful joints, foot pain, lower back pain, swollen fingers and toes, nail changes, eye inflammation, among others. Therefore, if you feel any of these symptoms, you may have rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. You should consult a healthcare professional to know your current condition. However, there is no hard and fast cure for psoriatic arthritis, yet treatments are available to control the symptoms and reduce the episodes of remission.
You need to get these treatments right after you are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. Otherwise, psoriatic arthritis is more likely to lead to debilitating symptoms.
REMICADE® (Infliximab) to treat Psoriatic Arthritis
Remicade and Renflexis are often prescribed to treat the chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition. Psoriatic arthritis is also an autoimmune disease as it can be caused by the attack of the body’s immune system on healthy cells and tissues. These are biological medications.
A doctor can comprehend the current condition of a patient and recommend treatments accordingly. They don’t recommend REMICADE® (infliximab) before knowing the history and situation of the patient. Most frequently, it has side effects. It can lower a patient’s ability to fight infections. Doctors can prescribe it to treat many diseases, including TB, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis, Pediatric Crohn’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, and of course, Psoriatic Arthritis.
Those who have severe psoriatic arthritis but no dangerous history of any other disease can take this medication as per the doctor’s prescription. REMICADE® (infliximab) can help to reduce the signs and indications of active arthritis. A patient may suffer from joint pain, lower back pain, and many other physical problems. This medication helps lower joint damage. It tries to prevent fats from moving symptoms. It strengthens physical function, especially in adult patients with psoriatic arthritis.
Aged patients usually have other severe problems like cancers, nervous system disorders, TB infections, etc. Therefore, doctors avoid giving this medication to them. Remicade can cause serious side effects, including headache, or respiratory infections, including sinus infections and sore throat. It can also cause severe coughing and stomach pain. However, if you are eligible to take this medicine, it can be very effective in treating psoriatic arthritis and reducing symptoms.
RENFLEXIS® (Infliximab-abda) – Biosimilar- Recommended for Psoriatic Arthritis
Those who have been prescribed Remicade often hear about Biosimilars. Biosimilars are made of the same amino acid materials. They also contain particular processes, like other reference medicines. So Renflexis is biosimilar to Remicade. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this medicine. Renflexis has the tendency to treat autoimmune diseases similar to Remicade. Their processing and functions are quite the same. The dosages and way of consuming are prescribed similarly. Therefore, the effectiveness shown by Remicade is similar, as are the side effects.
How do they work?
The immune system tends to produce a specific protein called tumor necrosis factor-alpha, or TNF-alpha excessively, with the health condition. This overproduction leads you to inflammation and provokes the symptoms of your autoimmune diseases. Renflexis performs its function by blocking the action of TNF-alpha and inhibiting symptoms that initiate inflammation.
Doctors prescribe Renflexis as an intravenous (IV) infusion just like Remicade. Doctors don’t recommend this medication to those whose previous medical history is not clear. For example, if they have TB, cancers, infections, allergies, nervous system disorders, or any other serious diseases. Because if they give it without knowing the current condition of a patient, it may provide fewer benefits and more disadvantages. It can cause respiratory problems, headaches, coughing, and many others. Those who have a clear medical history and have not been in contact with these severe diseases are more likely to have positive effects from Renflexis. They can improve their joints, and it may help reduce their symptoms caused by psoriatic arthritis.
SIMPONI ARIA® (Golimumab) For Psoriatic Arthritis
SIMPONI ARIA® (golimumab) is an immunosuppressive drug. It is often prescribed to decrease the inflammation of the body. It has the tendency to treat several autoimmune diseases, including psoriatic arthritis.
Nurses administer Simponi Aria® (Golimumab) as an intravenous (IV) infusion. It helps lower the symptoms of arthritis, including pain, fatigue, joint swelling, stiffness, and inflammation caused by psoriatic arthritis.
If you have psoriatic arthritis, be sure to visit your doctor and tell them about your medical history. Don’t hide your previous health conditions because if they recommend this medication and you have an infection or allergy, it may cause many side effects. Yet, if you’re clear, it will help you get rid of flare-up episodes of autoimmune diseases and lower the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Try to visit your doctor on a regular basis, so they can monitor whether the drugs are bringing about any improvement.
Understanding autoimmune diseases
The immune system is built to protect a person from pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and foreign particles. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s natural defense can’t differentiate between the body’s own cells and foreign cells. The body attacks the normal cells by mistake. More than 100 types of autoimmune diseases affect different body parts. Diagnosis of autoimmune diseases is challenging due to early symptoms, including joint pain, fatigue, digestive issues, etc. The conditions due to autoimmune diseases vary from person to person: some experience temporary circumstances, while others have lifelong conditions. Autoimmune diseases tend to lead to severe infections, diseases, and even death. Usually, autoimmune diseases do not go away, but the patient can manage the symptoms.
Autoimmune response may be generated due to several reasons in different ways. An autoimmune reaction may occur when a foreign particle looks similar to the body’s own cells. It can also be created by the modification of the normal body cells; for instance, if a virus modifies the normal cell of the body, the immune system cannot recognize the normal cell. The immune system considers it a foreign particle, such as a virus, and attacks.
Sometimes, b cell lymphocytes, the immune cells, make antibodies start producing abnormal antibodies. They eventually attack the body’s normal cells. These are various reasons that may initiate an autoimmune response.
Let’s explore more about autoimmune diseases.
Types of autoimmune diseases
- Organ-specific autoimmune diseases
Single or multiple organs can be affected by autoimmune diseases. Some organ-specific autoimmune diseases are:
In psoriasis, skin cells rapidly grow by the stimulation of the immune system activity. Scaly and silvery plaques grow on the skin, which is known as plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis treatment is based on the severity of the condition and its type.
In Multiple Sclerosis (MS), nerve cells are attacked by the immune system and do not let the nerve work properly. A patient with MS may experience blindness, pain, muscle spasms, weakness, and poor coordination. It leads to severe numbness and tingling, and many other symptoms. MS can be treated by medication that can help in suppressing the immune system.
- Systemic autoimmune diseases
Some systemic autoimmune diseases include:
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system generates antibodies that link to the linings of joints. Joints will be attacked by the immune system and lead to severe swelling, pain, and inflammation. The joint damage can last permanently if left untreated. Therefore, it is necessary to treat RA on time with the help of injectable or oral medications to limit the over-activity of the immune system.
- Inflammatory bowel disease
In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the lining of the intestines is attacked by the immune system, which leads to severe rectal bleeding, episodes of diarrhea, emergency bowel movements, fever, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most significant forms of inflammatory bowel disease. IBD can be treated by injected and oral immune-suppressing medication.
Many factors are associated with autoimmune diseases, but the exact cause of autoimmune diseases is still unknown. Assessed causes of autoimmune diseases are:
- Lifestyle and environmental factors
Lifestyle and environmental factors are associated with and cause various kinds of autoimmune diseases. People who are highly exposed to antigens are more inclined to have overactive immune responses. Lack of vitamin D, higher exposure to chemicals, lack of sunlight, and many other factors lead to different sorts of autoimmune diseases.
Lifestyle has a significant role in increasing the risk of autoimmune diseases. People who smoke are more vulnerable to rheumatoid arthritis. An unhealthy diet high in sugar, protein, fat, and salt enhances the chance of autoimmune diseases. All of these factors add up in boosting autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune diseases have the tendency to run in generations and are inherited from parents and ancestors. Mutation in a single gene can cause autoimmune diseases.
Infectious diseases are one of the reasons for autoimmune diseases. When pathogenic components look similar to the proteins in the body, autoimmunity may happen. The immune system gets confused by the body’s own cells and any outside cells of the body.
Different organs can be affected by autoimmune diseases, and their symptoms vary. The most common symptoms of autoimmune diseases include fatigue, weight changes, fever, muscle spasms, rashes on the skin, inflammation, dizziness, and digestive problems. These are the general symptoms that appear when a person is affected by autoimmune diseases. Some autoimmune diseases like MS may display numbness and tingling as indications of infection.
How to treat autoimmune diseases?
Each particular disease with a specific organ affected has its own treatment. Sometimes, immune-suppressing medications are supposed to be the best treatment for autoimmune diseases. Many conditions get severe if left untreated, like rheumatoid arthritis. The time of the course of treatment depends on the severity of the condition.
Usually, there is a need to manage symptoms, or control inflammation with the help of medication such as corticosteroids or biological drugs. For severe joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis, there is a need to handle symptoms. Doctors usually prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) to relieve joint pain.
Complications need to be prevented, such as blood sugar should be controlled in patients experiencing type 1 diabetes. It is how patients can reduce complications. Also, a healthy lifestyle needs to be maintained in order to treat autoimmune diseases.
How to cope with autoimmune diseases
A healthy lifestyle is crucial to beat autoimmune diseases. One should try to have at least 8 hours of sleep and relax the mind. Stress makes a person more inclined to health issues. Thus, stress management is needed to cope with autoimmune diseases. Exercise can help to lower stress and anxiety. It makes a person more vulnerable to live a physically and mentally healthy life and deal with autoimmune diseases.
Diet plays a significant role. It can help in reducing the risk of autoimmune diseases, especially for diabetic patients. They need a regular check on their diet. Patients with autoimmune diseases should try to promote healthy gut bacteria.
Different diseases have some triggers in which food or other factors may play a role. A person with any specific autoimmune disease should know his catalysts and try to lessen the exposure to those triggers.
At Speciality Infusion Centers, we specialize in managing chronic conditions and work with you, your insurance carrier, and your doctor to provide a personalized treatment plan. Find the most convenient location for starting infusion therapy today.