Considering a Biologic

Consider a biologic for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis treatment

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that can get worse over time

You’ve been doing your best to take care of your rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for some time now. Different medicines may have helped for a while, but you may have noticed that your symptoms keep getting worse. That’s because RA is progressive―a medical condition that can get worse over time. As the disease worsens, you may experience RA symptoms such as:

  • joint pain, stiffness, and swelling that become more severe
  • flare-ups that occur more often and may last longer
  • symptoms that affect other joints of your body

Watch this video

to see how over time, RA can cause inflammation of the joint lining, damaging cartilage and bone.

Rheumatoid arthritis Damage

 

When rheumatoid arthritis symptoms get worse, an anti-TNF biologic may help

You may have tried other medicines for your RA, such as methotrexate. But if your medicine isn’t helping like it used to, you and your doctor may consider treating your moderate to severe RA with a type of medicine called an anti-TNF biologic.

Anti-TNF biologics are a type of medicine that can be used to treat moderate to severe RA by helping to reduce joint pain and swelling. In RA, there may be too much of a protein called TNF-alpha in the body. This may cause the immune system to attack healthy joints and tissues. An anti-TNF biologic targets and blocks this protein. Most people start on an anti-TNF biologic when their current treatment with a DMARD (disease-modifying antirheumatic drug), such as methotrexate, is no longer enough to help their symptoms.

It’s important to know that blocking too much TNF-alpha can lessen your body’s ability to fight infections.

Deciding to start a biologic can be an important decision

When your current treatment isn’t enough to control your RA symptoms, it may be time to consider a biologic, such as SIMPONI ARIA®. SIMPONI ARIA®, taken with methotrexate, can help relieve your RA symptoms. Deciding to start on a biologic is an important decision, and there is a lot to learn. By learning more about biologics, in addition to partnering with your doctor, you can be better prepared to make an informed decision.

How biologics are given

Once you and your doctor make the decision to start a biologic, you will discuss and decide how to take your medication. Some biologics, such as SIMPONI ARIA®, are given as an infusion. Infusion biologics are prepared and given by a healthcare professional through a needle placed in your vein, usually in your arm. Self-injection biologics are given by yourself or a caregiver after proper training by your healthcare professional. The information below can help you understand some considerations for infusions and self-injections so that you can discuss with your doctor which one is right for you.

Learn about some considerations for infusions or self-injections 
in the treatment of moderate to severe RA

Infusion

Self-injections

Where is the medicine given?

  • At your doctor’s office
  • If your doctor’s office does not provide infusions, you can go to a local infusion center or hospital
  • At home

Who gives the medicine?

  • A healthcare professional, like a doctor or nurse
  • Yourself or a caregiver
  • You will need proper training from your doctor before you can start giving yourself injections

How is the medicine given?

  • Given through a needle placed in your vein, usually in your arm (infusion)
  • Given as an injection (using a needle) under the skin (subcutaneous injection). The treatment usually comes in an injection device (prefilled with the medication) or a prefilled syringe

How often will you receive the medicine?

  • How often you receive the medicine varies depending on the medication
  • How often you receive the medicine varies depending on the medication

Who will manage getting the medicine?

  • Your doctor’s office will manage getting the medicine in time for your next infusion appointment
  • You will need to fill your prescription in a timely manner and have it delivered to your home

Who will manage storing the medicine?

  • Your doctor’s office will manage storing the medicine properly and keeping it refrigerated
  • You will need to store the medicine properly by keeping it refrigerated

Who will manage disposing of the medicine?

  • Your doctor’s office will manage disposing of the medicine properly
  • You will need to dispose of your medicine properly, per local regulations

There are additional important considerations for selecting a treatment. Talk with your doctor about treatment options and what may be right for you.