Despite the actual patient frustrations with rheumatoid arthritis, one of the most frustrating things about the condition is that there is no known absolute cure for it - yet. Scientists and doctors are still researching today to try and understand what causes the joint pain and inflammation and what can be done to treat and cure it. In the meantime though, those who are affected by it have to manage their condition with drugs.
Researching the development of new drugs is ongoing but there is one development of interest. It is said to allow the condition to be treated more effectively at an earlier stage with fewer side affects.
Drugs for the Immune System
In recent years, one of the most prevalent discoveries regarding rheumatoid arthritis is the connection between the immune system and the disease. Parts of the immune system help protect the body from inflammation and joint damage and it is believed that if new rheumatoid arthritis drugs focus on this area of treatment then the symptoms will be reduced.
These new types drugs that focus on the immune system are known as biological response modifiers. Some of these response modifiers specifically focusing on rheumatoid arthritis include: new TNF-alpha inhibitors, drugs that prevent B-cells from causing inflammation, drugs that block protein signals that cause inflammation and drugs that stop inflammatory proteins developing.
Dual Purpose Drugs
Different new rheumatoid arthritis drugs being considered are also being provided for other conditions. Many of these alternative drugs have already shown that they can help control the inflammation of the body and now research is considering other possibilities including antibiotics doxycyceline and minocyceline as well as tacrolimus, cholesterol-lowering drugs and bone loss prevention drugs.
Gene Therapy Drugs
Another future remedy is gene therapy. Gene therapy is the development of new drugs that would instruct specific cells in the body to create extra substances that will prevent inflammation of joints. Some other gene therapy drugs could instruct cells to produce less of a substance that causes inflammation. This line of research is very new and still far away from being in general use but scientists believe this could be a new direction in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Drugs that Will be Worth The Wait
Despite still being in the very early stages of development, the outlook is positive and the potential efficiency with which these new rheumatoid arthritis drugs will contribute to the treatment of the condition is priceless. For people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, there is an immeasurable relief associated with taking treatments with little or no side effects. It is plausible to say that when these new types of drugs finally do appear on our shelves, that they will have been well worth the long wait.