Which nonbiologic and biologic DMARDs are used for rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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DMARDs can be classified into nonbiologic and biologic agents. The nonbiologic DMARDs include the following:

  • Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)
  • Azathioprine (AZA)
  • SSZ
  • MTX
  • Leflunomide
  • Cyclosporine
  • Gold salts
  • D-penicillamine
  • Minocycline

The recognition of TNF-α and interleukin (IL)-1 as central proinflammatory cytokines has led to the development of biologic agents that block these cytokines or their effects. In addition to improving signs and symptoms and quality of life, all biologic agents significantly retard radiographic progression of joint erosions. Biologic DMARDs include agents such as adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab and infliximab.

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