Body, Bath & Beauty Blog

New FDA Warnings On Some RA Drugs

Posted on: September 5, 2008

Today’s New York Times health section had a very important report for people with rheumatoid arthritis and other serious illnesses. Four drugs, that are mostly used for treating RA, were ordered to have stronger warnings by the Food and Drug Administration. These drugs are: Enbrel, Remicade, Humira and Cimzia. RA is an auto-immune disease, that causes the body’s immune system to attack itself, usually in the joints. These four drugs all work by “suppressing the immune system to keep it from attacking the body.” The problem, says Dr. Jeffrey Siegel of the FDA, “the drugs also lower the body’s defenses to infections.” The FDA became concerned after realizing that doctors were “overlooking a kind of fungal infection called histoplasmosis. Of 240 cases reported to the agency in which patients taking one of the four drugs developed this infection, 45 died. That is about 20 percent.”

Symptoms of the infection are similar to the flu. If you know someone that may be taking one of these drugs please pass this information along to them. 

Do you think stronger warnings are enough? 

Should the FDA place more restrictions on these drugs?

Click here to read the article from the New York Times

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