Treatment options can seem overwhelming to people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or other rheumatic conditions. From pain medications to disease-modifying drugs, immunosuppressants, NSAIDs, and an ever-expanding list of biologic drugs, the number of pharmaceutical treatments may seem endless. Couple those options with natural and alternative treatments, and it can leave patients wondering if they’re making the right choices.
Xeljanz Ideal for Patients Who Can’t Take Methotrexate
As with any medication, the decision to use Xeljanz or not is up to the rheumatologist and their patient. Every patient is unique; every case is different.
But why is Xeljanz becoming more popular among doctors? In a statement to the press, analyst Ronnie Yoo, Ph.D., wrote, “Xeljanz will compete for patient share in two areas of the RA treatment [market]. First, with the non-TNF-alpha inhibitor biologics for patients who fail to respond to TNF-alpha inhibitors. Second, to a lesser degree, it has the potential to compete at the same line of therapy as the TNF-alpha inhibitors, in patients with an inadequate response to methotrexate.”
This means that Xeljanz is often prescribed when patients aren’t responding to other drugs that are normally given as a first line of defense against RA.
Xeljanz is an anti-JAK, or Janus kinase inhibitor, which targets a specific cellular process that is involved in the immune response and resulting inflammation in RA. Xeljanz is the first drug of its kind.
“I have been on Xeljanz for about six or seven months — absolutely the best drug I’ve tried for RA. That includes infusion drugs and injectables, and hardly any side effects,” said Theresa Ahl, of Severance, Colorado.