Which medications in the drug class DMARDs, TNF Inhibitors are used in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

DMARDs, TNF Inhibitors

The recognition of TNF-α and IL-1 as central proinflammatory cytokines has led to the development of agents that block either 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.

The TNF inhibitors, which bind TNF and thus prevent its interaction with its receptors, include etanercept, infliximab, golimumab, certolizumab, and adalimumab. Consensus statements do not recommend their use until at least one xenobiotic DMARD, usually MTX, has been administered without sufficient success.

Adverse effects associated with the biologic agents include the generation of antibodies against these compounds, the emergence of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs), occasional drug-induced lupuslike syndromes, and infections. Rarely, demyelinating disorders and bone marrow suppression occur.

Acute and chronic infections, demyelinating disorders, New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III or IV heart failure, and recent malignancies are contraindications for the use of TNF inhibitors. A thorough search for latent tuberculosis using chest radiography or purified protein derivative (PPD) testing is recommended before these agents are started. Patients taking anti-TNF agents must avoid live-virus vaccines to avoid the risk of serious infection.

Infliximab (Remicade, Inflectra, infliximab-dyyb, Renflexis, infliximab-abda, Ixifi, infliximab-qbtx)

Infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody against TNF-α, is approved for reducing signs and symptoms, inhibiting the progression of structural damage, and improving physical function in patients with moderately to severely active RA, in combination with MTX. This agent binds to cells that express membrane TNF. FDA approved infliximab-dyyb, infliximab-abda, and infliximab-qbtx as biosimilars and not as an interchangeable drug.

Etanercept (Enbrel, Erelzi, etanercept-szzs)

Etanercept, a bivalent p75–TNF receptor linked to the Fc portion of human immunoglobulin G (IgG), is approved for reducing signs and symptoms, inducing major clinical response, inhibiting the progression of structural damage, and improving physical function in patients with moderately to severely active RA. It can be given alone or in combination with MTX. This agent binds lymphotoxin (formerly termed TNF-β) in addition to soluble TNF-α. 

Golimumab (Simponi, Simponi Aria)

Golimumab, a human monoclonal antibody to TNF-α, inhibits TNF-α bioactivity, thereby modulating immune activity in patients with RA. It is approved for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active RA, in combination with MTX. It may be administered as either a SC injection every month, or as an IV infusion every 2 months following 2 once monthly doses. Golimumab should be given in combination with MTX.

Certolizumab (Cimzia)

Certolizumab is a pegylated anti−TNF-α agent, which results in disruption of the inflammatory process in RA. It is indicated for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active RA. 

Adalimumab (Amjevita, Cyltezo, Humira, Hadlima, Hyrimoz, Adalimumab-atto, Adalimumab-adbm, Adalimumab-bwwd, Adalimumab-adaz)

Adalimumab is a recombinant human IgG1 monoclonal antibody that is specific for human TNF. It binds specifically to TNF-α and blocks interaction with p55 and p75 cell-surface TNF receptors. It is indicated to reduce inflammation and inhibit progression of structural damage in moderate to severe RA, alone or in combination with MTX or other nonbiologic DMARDs. This agent is reserved for those who experience an inadequate response to 1 or more DMARDs. Adalimumab can be used alone or in combination with MTX or other DMARDs. FDA approved adalimumab-atto, adalimumab-adbm, adalimumab-adaz, adalimumab-bwwd, as biosimilars and not as interchangeable drugs.


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