Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory condition that causes pain and stiffness in the spine’s joints. Over time, it can progress to fusing the bones of the spine/vertebrae, limiting the spine’s mobility and leading to discomfort symptoms. The condition is more common in men but also affects women. There is not a known, singular cause, but individuals with a particular gene, HLA-B27, have an increased risk of developing the condition. However, the gene itself does not mean an individual has ankylosing spondylitis; genetics and other outside and environmental factors also play role. DMARDs, or Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs, suppress inflammation. An emerging DMARD treatment uses biologics that further target and suppresses specific inflammatory compounds.
Unlike regular medications, which are synthesized, biologics are made from and inside living sources.
Side effects associated with this medication, along with other conditions, include:
Minor side effects include:
More serious side effects include:
Treatment goals for ankylosing spondylitis include:
Biologics are not the first-line treatment for ankylosing spondylitis.
Biologics for ankylosing spondylitis may or may not be suitable. These medications are meant to help relieve the inflammation associated with the condition and slow the disorder’s progression. Your healthcare team will work with you to determine the right treatment option/s and explain the benefits, risks, and types of treatment. They will monitor the condition, track progress, and adjust the plan accordingly.
Ankylosing spondylitis. (n.d.) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/ankylosing-spondylitis#:~:text=Ankylosing%20spondylitis%20is%20a%20type,the%20spine%20can%20cause%20stiffness (Accessed: October 12, 2022).
Chen C, Zhang X, Xiao L, Zhang X, Ma X. Comparative Effectiveness of Biologic Therapy Regimens for Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Systematic Review and a Network Meta-Analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Mar;95(11):e3060. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000003060. PMID: 26986130; PMCID: PMC4839911.
Gerriets V, Goyal A, Khaddour K. Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors. [Updated 2022 July 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482425/
Lindström, U., Olofsson, T., Wedrén, S. et al. Biological treatment of ankylosing spondylitis: a nationwide study of treatment trajectories on a patient level in clinical practice. Arthritis Res Ther 21, 128 (2019). doi.org/10.1186/s13075-019-1908-9
Yin, Y., Wang, M., Liu, M. et al. Efficacy and safety of IL-17 inhibitors for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Arthritis Res Ther 22, 111 (2020). doi.org/10.1186/s13075-020-02208-w
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