About Moderate to Severe
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Once diagnosed, rheumatoid arthritis is a lifelong disease of the immune system that leads to inflammation in the joints. RA can cause a number of symptoms, including pain, swelling, fatigue, weakness, and stiffness (stiffness is most common in the morning), and can also lead to loss of physical function and permanent joint damage. Certain treatments for RA, especially when started early, can allow you to manage your symptoms, improve physical function, and help stop progressive joint damage.
Joint Affected by Moderate to Severe RA
RA usually begins with inflammation of the joints that can progress to serious joint damage.
What causes RA?
Rheumatoid arthritis is commonly misunderstood and many times confused with other forms of arthritis. One misperception is that RA only affects people at an older age and is a result of wear and tear on the joints. In fact, RA is a disease of the immune system that can occur at any age of adulthood.
The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, however, it is considered a disease of the immune system.1 In RA, the immune system begins to damage the joints. It has been found that people with active RA have many changes in the immune and inflammatory system and among them is too much of a protein called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF. Although TNF is naturally produced by your immune system, increased levels of active TNF is believed to play a role in the joint inflammation found in patients with RA.
Rheumatoid arthritis is not curable, but it may be managed with pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroids. These medications, however, treat only the symptoms of RA and not the disease itself.
Your doctor may want to consider therapies that modify the progression of the disease. Such medications are called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). There are nonbiologic and biologic types of DMARDs.
ENBREL is a prescription medication that is taken by injection, and it is a biologic DMARD indicated to treat moderate to severe RA. ENBREL works on the immune system to help reduce joint pain and inflammation and keep joint damage from getting worse. Read more about how ENBREL works.
Because ENBREL works on your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections and may raise other safety concerns. If you have any sign of an infection including a fever, cough, flu-like symptoms, or have any open sores on your body, call your doctor.
Please see Prescribing Information, Important Safety Information, and Medication Guide for complete details about ENBREL.
The importance of early action
Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease. Unlike inflammation that occurs as a result of minor injuries, the inflammation found in RA worsens over time and can lead to permanent damage to the cartilage and bones within affected joints. Often times, this can lead to loss of physical function.
However, if you have moderate to severe RA and you begin a biologic therapy like ENBREL, you can help stop the progression of joint damage and improve your physical function. Your results may vary. Talk to your doctor if you are having symptoms like pain, swelling, or morning stiffness, or find a rheumatologist near you. You and your doctor can determine the most appropriate next steps in managing your symptoms.