Discussion: DMARDs and biologic therapies in the management of inflammatory joint diseases

Austin Vaz, Jeffrey Lisse, Warren Rizzo, Salvatore Albani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Therapy for inflammatory joint diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, includes various conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These therapeutic agents are termed DMARDs because they have the potential to reduce or prevent joint damage and preserve joint integrity and function. Conventional DMARDs are used as monotherapy or in combination and include methotrexate, leflunomide, azathioprine, ciclosporin, hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine, gold and minocycline. Biologic response modifiers, which are based on proteins made by living cells, are newer agents available for the treatment of various inflammatory joint diseases. Biologic therapies now approved for use in inflammatory joint diseases are TNF inhibitors, T-cell modulators and B-cell depleters. They have all been shown to have clinical efficacy and are able to retard structural damage. However, all current immune-modulating therapies also have potential side effects, and the decision to use a particular agent for treatment should be based on a thorough discussion of the benefits and risks with the patient. Newer biologic response modifiers and other immunologic therapies are currently being developed for the treatment of inflammatory joint diseases and are discussed in this review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-299
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Biologic response modifier
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug
  • Methotrexate
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • TNF inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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