While it may seem like it took forever, there is finally a new drug on the market for rheumatoid arthritis patients. The drug, Xeljanz, is manufactured by Pfizer. It is for use by RA patients that are not responding well to methotrexate. The drug is not for use by patients who are taking biologic drugs. It works by suppressing the immune system, which causes inflammation of the joints. The drug is a pill that can be taken twice daily. There are a few possible side effects, some of which some are very serious. These side effects include headache, diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infections, cancer and lymphoma.
"Xeljanz provides a new treatment option for adults suffering from the debilitating disease of RA who have had a poor response to methotrexate," says Badrul Chowdhury, MD, PhD, of the FDA. Future uses may include treating patients with psoriasis and other auto-immune diseases.
Learn more about Xeljanz below: