A recent clinical trial
has examined the efficacy and safety of sarilumab, a drug commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in Japan.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. It occurs when your immune system attacks the healthy cells in your body by mistake resulting in damage to the tissues. It mostly affects the small joints in the hands, wrists, and feet. The disease affects millions of people worldwide.
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a chemical produced in the bodies of rheumatoid arthritis patients. This chemical has an important role in causing this disease. Sarilumab is a type of medication called a monoclonal antibody, which works by blocking IL-6 in the body. This helps in controlling the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
To better understand the safety profile and effectiveness of sarilumab in rheumatoid arthritis patients, a clinical trial was conducted in Japan which looked at the immunogenicity of sarilumab - that is, how the body's immune system responds to the drug. The blood levels of antibodies against sarilumab were measured. These antibodies usually block the function of this drug.
The clinical study, which was an analysis of two previously conducted clinical trials, involved 334 patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. These patients received 150 mg or 200 mg of sarilumab either alone or in combination with other anti-rheumatic drugs. Blood antibody levels against sarilumab were later measured. So what did the researchers find?
The results of the clinical study showed that 10 out of 149 patients (7.1%) who were given sarilumab 150 mg developed antibodies against it while 13 out of 185 patients (7.0%) who were given 200 mg of sarilumab developed immunity against it.
These results highlight that the rate of antibody development against sarilumab was quite low and hence the body did not develop immunity against it. This signifies that sarilumab may be an effective treatment option for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition, the researchers also assessed the safety of sarilumab in Japanese patients. They found that the medication was generally well-tolerated and had only a few allergic side effects such as rash, dermatitis, lip swelling, and allergic conjunctivitis.
Overall, the results of these trials suggest that sarilumab is a safe and effective treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis patients with a low risk of adverse reactions.
In conclusion, the clinical trial demonstrates the benefit and safety of sarilumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This has important implications for patients and doctors as it adds a potential new treatment option for the management of this debilitating disease. However, it is important to consult a doctor before starting or changing any medication for rheumatoid arthritis.