New Treatments and Studies on Ankylosing Spondylitis
New treatments are changing the lives of people with an Kylosing Spondylitis.
“New medications and other therapies are getting better at slowing disease progression, even though AS still doesn’t have a cure.”
There are a few new medications on the market. Researchers are studying treatments other than medication to see how they affect pain, inflammation, and other symptoms.
NSAIDs were only used to relieve pain in the past. The newer medications slow the disease.
The first group of drugs to come along for AS were the TNF inhibitors. They block inflammatory chemicals in your body.
The FDA approved five of the TNF inhibitors.
- Adalimumab is a drug.
- certolizumab is a drug.
- Etnercept is a drug.
- Infliximab is a drug.
- Golimumab is a drug used foremicade.
If your doctor thinks you have too much inflammation and pain, he might prescribe one of these medications. The risk of infections can be increased by the suppression of your immune system with the use of TNF inhibitors.
ixekizumab and Secukinumab are two of the IL 17 inhibitors that work to block the inflammatory cytokine. Taltz is a new IL 17 drug. It was approved in 2019.
“People whose AS didn’t improve with TNF inhibitors could be helped by these drugs. This group of medications can cause infections.”
Bimekizumab is the first IL-17 inhibitor to target two cytokines at once: IL-17A and IL-17F. A late-stage study called BE MOBILE 2 showed promising results with bimekizumab. Many study participants had an improvement of 40 percent or more in their symptoms.
Tofacitinib (Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR) is the first in a group of drugs called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors approved for AS. It’s also the first new pill for AS since NSAIDs. JAK inhibitors block the signals that cause inflammation.
Xeljanz is for people who have tried a lot of TNF inhibitors but have not seen a noticeable improvement in their symptoms. It comes in pill or extended-release version that you take once daily.
Another new JAK inhibitor, upadacitinib (Rinvoq), was submitted to the FDA for approval in 2022. A
A new drug is in a trial. The study will show if this new drug is safe and effective.
Our gut is a miniature city filled with organisms. Scientists call this our microbiome. A growing number of studies show that the problem with the microbiome might cause AS.
According to a 2021 observational study, up to 60 percent of people with AS have inflammation in their gut, and up to 10 percent also develop inflammatory bowel disease.
Researchers looked at the effects of the TNF inhibitor Adalimumab is a drug. on the microbiome of 30 people with AS. After 6 months of treatment, Humira helped restore the microbiome to a more normal state in many study participants.
“The participants whose microbiome changed had improved AS symptoms. The researchers said that the microbiome could one day be used to help predict who will respond to treatment and who won’t.”
AS treatment includes medication. Reducing symptoms and improving function are two things that nondrug therapies can do.
You work with a physical therapist who will design a program for you. Physical therapy can include exercise, heat, cold, electrical stimulation, and hands-on techniques.
“People with arthritis can benefit from exercising in water. The warmth of the water makes it feel like it’s soothing.”
Water therapy not only relieves pain, but it slows the disease,
This treatment uses high heat to your whole body. Hyperthermia is a treatment for many conditions. It is thought to help suppress inflammation.
Research on hyperthermia for AS is still early but promising. In one small 2018 study, whole-body hyperthermia reduced the number of cytokines in the blood by
More options are available for treatment of AS, which helps slow the progression of the disease and delay the pain. People with AS are benefiting from techniques like physical therapy and water therapy.
If you would like to try one of these new treatments, you should talk to the doctor who is treating your AS. Ask about the trial. It could give you access to a new therapy before anyone else.