Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be painful. If you have this condition, you know about the achy joints and stiffness that comes along with RA. You also know about the joint damage that is occurring in your body, and that the problem is only going to keep getting worse if you are not getting the right treatment. Your doctor can help you find the treatment option that will work for you, and there are several options to consider. Many people with RA take methotrexate, and many also take Humira or another type of drug. Amjevita is a new drug about to be on the market, and its recent approval is giving more options to RA patients.
Patent litigation has prevented Amjevita from being sold yet, even though it has FDA approval. As of 2017, the maker of Amjevita was awaiting the outcome of its litigation case in order to determine when its product would be ready to hit the market. Speculation was that the launch of the medication would be delayed until 2018, and that speculation had not changed as of June of 2017. However, there could be changes later in the year that will affect whether the medication will be sold sooner or later than expected. Until the litigation is settled, however, Amjevita will not be officially available for RA symptom treatment.
Amjevita is a new drug that is being used for the treatment of RA and similar conditions. It is a biosimilar to Humira, so it works in much the same way as other drugs that have been previously used for people who struggle with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. People who have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis that is currently active in their body may be candidates for this medication. It can be used as a replacement for Humira in people who cannot tolerate the other medication well, or simply instead of Humira, methotrexate, or another type of medication that also works for the treatment of RA symptoms and the reduction of joint damage.
Much like Humira, Amjevita can be used alone or with other drugs, such as methotrexate. While not all patients benefit from the combination of medications, many patients find that a combination is more effective for them. Your doctor will assess all the risks and benefits to taking Amjevita, either alone or in combination with other medications, in order to determine which treatment is right for you. Each patient with RA will be different, even though the disease they have is the same. Some patients’ RA symptoms are more severe, and in some people the disease progression is faster or more aggressive, as well.
Many people who take medications for serious diseases and conditions worry about side effects. This often happens because some medications can have side effects that can be severe, and even fatal. Amjevita, like Humira, will carry a Black Box warning about immune system suppression and other problems, but it can also have some side effects that are not serious but that can be bothersome and annoying for patients. It is important to know about any and all potential side effects when taking a new medication. There are a number of side effects that are related to Amjevita use, but the most common ones are:
These are generally not too severe, and they may go away in time. Some patients stop taking Amjevita because of these issues, but for most people these side effects either do not appear or are mild enough that they can be ignored in favor of the benefits this medication provides. However, like Humira, Amjevita does have other, more serious side effects that you will need to watch out for. These can include:
Serious infections that can be fatal, along with significant malignancies (cancers) have occurred, so it is very important to talk to your doctor if you have a history of cancer or other health problems that are related to cancer. Additionally, if you have a history of infection or you get infections easily, your doctor will need that information, as well. Because Amjevita suppresses your immune system, this medication may not be right for people who have had cancer in the past, who are prone to infections, or who currently have cancer or any type of infection. Your doctor can help you decide if Amjevita is safe for you to take for RA.
Studies and clinical trials have show that Amjevita is as effective as Humira for the treatment of RA symptoms, and may be more effective in some patients. Because not all patients can take Humira, the possibility exists for them to effectively take Amjevita instead. While this may not work for every patient with RA, it does add another option into the mix for people who need medications and may not be able to find what they need with what is currently on the market. Once Amjevita becomes available, more doctors may prescribe it when Humira has not been effective or for patients where other drugs are not well tolerated.
Amjevita will likely be taken in the same way as Humira, with 40 mg dosing and injections every other week. In some patients, a different dosing schedule or medication amount may be more commonly seen. Until the drug is available on the market, some of the details about its usage and delivery will not be as clear as they would be with drugs that are currently in use. Despite the lack of definite detail in Amjevita information, it will likely be administered very similarly to Humira, because it is a biosimilar medication having a number of identical or nearly identical characteristics.