There is a new drug that was specifically designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and could make active living possible for more seniors.
Abatacept might be an effective form of RA treatment, according to a Cochrane Systematic Review that recently examined the trials in which the drug was tested.
"Like other biologics, abatacept is an expensive drug, but if the benefits are evident, it may be of great interest to patients with rheumatoid arthritis who fail standard therapy or other biologic treatment," said a researcher from the University of Ottawa named Lara Maxwell.
The review considered data from seven trials that involved giving about 2,900 patients the drug or a placebo.
One year later, the patients who took abatacept were twice as likely to experience improved health than those who didn't.
People with RA sometimes have swollen or tender joints. Abatacept can apparently prevent further joint problems. The drug does have drawbacks, however. For example, it cannot be combined with certain types of medication.
RA is an autoimmune disease that one in 100 people in Western countries experience.