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Interleukin-17a Inhibitor Holds Promise for Patients Suffering From Ankylosing Spondylitis

Researchers may have found a much-needed medication that can help control and reduce the painful symptoms of the inflammatory disease ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The medication, secukinumab, is an interleukin-17A inhibitor that has been found to suppress the body’s abnormal immune system response which causes AS. It is estimated that nearly 0.5 percent of the U.S. population have ankylosing spondylitis, many of whom do not respond well to current AS treatments and live with chronic joint pain, stiffness, and fatigue.

Secukinumab Receives FDA Approval

As of January, 15, 2016, the new medication, which will be sold under the name Cosentyx by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, has been FDA approved for treating active ankylosing spondylitis as well as psoriatic arthritis based on the positive results of two double-blind, phase 3 trials.

During the trials, roughly 590 patients with active AS received either a placebo or varying dosages of secukinumab for 16 weeks. The trials successfully reached the primary end point of patients experiencing at least 20% improvement of AS symptoms. These significant improvements were sustained through 52 weeks.

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

AS is a painful and progressively debilitating inflammatory disease that affects the joints, such as the hands, feet, shoulders, hips, and heels, as well as bones of the spine. AS can also affect the eyes, causing uveitis, and in rare cases, damaging the heart and lungs as well. Without treatment, the disease can cause irreversible damage to the joints and vertebrae, often leading to fusion of the spinal bones. Spinal fusion can significantly reduce mobility and decrease the quality of life, particularly if the spine begins to hunch forward (kyphosis), which can apply pressure on the ribs and lungs.

AS affects men more often than women and occurs during late adolescence or early adulthood. The disease is characterized by sudden, acute flare-ups in which the symptoms are at their worst, followed by brief periods where the symptoms subside. It is a chronic disease that requires skilled care and treatment from an experienced rheumatologist.

Learn more about ankylosing spondylitis at niams.nih.gov

Schedule a Consultation Today

Dr. Susan Baker treats patients with a variety of rheumatological disorders, including ankylosing spondylitis, at her Beverly Hills office. While proper diet and exercise can help many patients manage the symptoms of AS, nothing can replace the expertise and knowledge of a doctor specializing in internal medicine and rheumatology.

If you or someone you care about is suffering from AS, there are numerous ways to manage the symptoms. Contact Dr. Baker in Beverly Hills to provide the solutions you or your loved one need today. Call (310) 274-7770.

Next, here are some Tips for Alleviating Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

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