Questions to Ask your Rheumatologist while Initiating Biologics | Fight The Fuse

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Questions to Ask your Rheumatologist while Initiating Biologics

Here are 4 points to help you discuss your biologic therapy with your Rheumatologist:[1][2]

Type: Broadly there are 2 categories of biologics based on the protein they target

  • Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)
  • Anti- Interleukin (IL)-17 A

Route of administration: Biologics are mainly injectables, either sub-cutaneous or intravenous.

Effectiveness: 

  • Many people find a difference in symptoms as early as one week after initiation.[3]
  • Some biologics are also known to prevent new bone formation in the long term.[2] Some people may not respond to a particular biologic, even after 3 to 6 months of treatment. In such cases, Rheumatologists may suggest switching to another biologic to manage symptoms.

Safety: Most people do not experience serious tolerability issues after treatment. However, it is a good idea to have a frank conversation about the safety of biologics with your Rheumatologist before initiating treatment.

How will you know that your biologic medication is working for you?

Biologic medications are targeted to reduce the inflammation causing factors in your body. You will know your medicine is working if:[1]

  • Your pain and stiffness have considerably reduced.
  • You are able to move better, especially in the morning.
  • You find it easier to carry out your daily activities.
  • You are able to exercise better.
  • You can sleep well.

Ask your Rheumatologist for biologics that slow down spinal fusion.

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References

  1. Biologic Therapy. NAAS. Available [Online] at: https://nass.co.uk/managing-my-as/medication/biologic-therapy/ Accessed on 7th Oct 2019

  2. NAAS. Biologic Therapies for Axial SpA (AS). Available [Online] at: https://nass.co.uk/resource/nass-guide-to-biologic-therapy/ Accessed on 26 June 2020

  3. Arthritis.health. Biologic: Basic Facts for Patients. Available [Online] at: : https://www.arthritis-health.com/treatment/medications/biologics-basic-facts-patients Accessed on 26 June 2020