Reflections on 21 Years of Illness, Part 2: New Medications

This coming Friday will mark 21 years of living with this disease for me. It’s not necessarily a day I want to celebrate, but it is also a day that I cannot let go by unmarked. I hope to write a few different blog posts this week reflecting on the live I’ve lived so far, the lessons learned, and the amazing steps that have been made in chronic illness and rheumatology care since 1993. This is part two in the series, documenting the breakthroughs in rheumatology over the last 21 years.

Enbrel [TNF alpha inhibitor]:
Approved to treat RA (Nov 1998)
Polyarticular JIA (1999)

Psoriatic Arthritis (2002)
Ankylosing Spondylitis (July 2003)
Plaque psoriasis (April 2004)

Approved to treat RA (Nov 2001)
While not FDA approved to do so yet, this is a drug of choice for SJIA/Still’s

Humira [TNF alpha inhibitor]:
Approved to treat RA (Dec 31 2002)
Psoriatic Arthritis (2005)
Crohn’s Disease (2006/2007)

Orencia [T-cell inhibitor]:
Approved to treat RA (Dec 2005)

Cimzia [TNF alpha inhibitor]:
Approved to treat Crohn’s (Apr 2008)
RA (May 2009)
PsA (Sept 2013)
AS (Oct 2013)

Simponi [TNF alpha inhibitor]:
Approved to treat RA, PsA, AS (Apr 2009)

Ilaris [interleukin-1 beta inhibitor]:
Approved to treat CAPS (Oct 2009)
SJIA (May 2013)

Actemra [interleukin-6 inhibitor]:
Approved to treat RA (Jan 2010)
SJIA (Apr 2011)
Polyarticular JIA (Apr 2013)
New SubQ form approved for RA (Oct 2013)

Xeljanz [JAK (Janue kinase) inhibitor]:
Approved to treat RA (Nov 2012)

As you can see, there has been a ton of improvement in medications in the last 21 years. In 1993, the go-to was methotrexate if you weren’t going to go into a medical trial for one of the above medications (namely Enbrel).

With these new medications, we have a better chance of finding a medication that works for each patient. We also have more options for harder to treat patients, especially those of us with SJIA/Still’s.

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1 Comment

  1. Wow dear that a long time of struggle , but am honored to follow u & read ur news , stay strong , god is testing ur faith & strength


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