Efficacy, safety, and tolerability of abatacept in the management of rheumatoid arthritis
Joseph R Lutt
Division of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
Abstract: The management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has undergone an impressive transformation over the past few decades. Further understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease process has resulted in the development of biologic agents that target proinflammatory cytokines and both B and T lymphocytes. By blocking an important costimulatory pathway, abatacept leads to a dramatic reduction in T cell stimulation and proliferation. Multiple clinical trials have revealed consistent benefit with regards to clinical and radiographic efficacy, quality of life, and disability in patients suffering from RA who have had inadequate responses to methotrexate or tumor necrosis factor inhibitors. The possibility of remission when used early in the disease course has also been demonstrated. Importantly, abatacept has been very well tolerated with a low rate of serious infections and no apparent increase in malignancies to date. Continued surveillance of the benefits and risks will help to better define its place amongst the other biologic agents in the treatment of RA.
Keywords: abatacept, rheumatoid arthritis, infliximab, etanercept, adalimumab, rituximab, disease-modifying antirheumatic drug
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