Baptist Health Richmond: Treating Arthritis with Immunotherapy
Rheumatologist Mansoor Ahmed, MD, discusses the causes of arthritis and describes a new intravenous medication used to relieve joint pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Treating Arthritis with Immunotherapy Health Talks Transcript
Mansoor Ahmed, MD, Rheumatology
Arthritis generally means joint pains, and usually it is long-term, chronic joint pains with some kind of joint damage. There are different causes of arthritis. Most of the time, this is advancing age, obesity, any history of joint damage, changes in the immune system, genetics and environmental factors. Rheumatoid arthritis usually involves smaller joints like hands, knuckles in the hands and wrists, ankles and toes. Rheumatoid arthritis is treated with patient education, of course. Then, we use medications that work on the immune system to fix the immune system problem. Medications that work on the immune system are called biologic medications. Infusion medications are given in the Infusion Center or in a doctor’s office. A certain type of infusion is prepared, which gets an intravenous access into a patient’s big vein. These medications have revolutionized the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and have decreased the symptoms and long-term damage to the joints. It has improved the quality of life, and it has affected the activities of daily living in a very positive way.