This week pro-golfer and San Diegan, Phil Mickelson, is competing in the 2013 Masters golf tournament. In addition to being ranked 10th in the world for golf, Phil suffers from psoriatic arthritis.
Doctors say if Phil had gotten this inflammatory form of arthritis 15 years ago his career would have been over. But thanks to improvements in treatment, including the introduction of biologics, he’s on top of his game.
Biologics are medications genetically engineered from a living organism, such as a virus, gene or protein, to simulate the body’s natural response to infection and disease. When produced in large amounts in the laboratory and given by injection or infusion, biologics can interfere with different inflammatory substances, cells or pathways responsible for the symptoms and damage of rheumatoid arthritis and some other inflammatory forms of arthritis.
Phil Mickelson is currently a spokesman for one popular brand of medication, Enbrel. Other brands of biologics used in arthritis treatment include Humira and Remicade.
Biologics work by blocking proteins and blood cells that promote inflammation. They are usually reserved for people whose disease has not responded well to other medications such as NSAIDs or DMARDs.
Biologics do not cure arthritis or other conditions, but for many people they can induce remission. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “A clinical remission is defined as fewer than 15 minutes of morning stiffness and no tender or swollen joints for at least three months. Treating rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory forms of arthritis aggressively with DMARDs, including biologics, as soon as possible after diagnosis increases the chance of remission, as well as minimizes the risk of limited function due to permanent joint destruction.”
If you want to try a biologic, consult with your physician. The doctors at PainCare of San Diego are here to provide complimentary new patient consultations. Call 858.202.1546.