Real-World Study Shows JAK Inhibitors Are Effective in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis


Over the past decade, patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who have not had success with established treatments have been able to turn to a new class of drugs called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors.

These medications work by disrupting signals in the body that are thought to cause inflammation. While randomized controlled trials have demonstrated their effectiveness, a new study confirms that these drugs can significantly reduce or eliminate disease activity in patients in a “real-world” setting.

For the research, published November 1 in the journal Rheumatology, scientists in Japan evaluated four JAK inhibitors, including three approved for use in the United States: baricitinib (Olumiant), tofacitinib (Xeljanz), and upadacitinib (Rinvoq).

“We found that most patients have success with these medications, and the efficacy and safety of each of these JAK inhibitors was not significantly different in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis,” says the lead study author, Shinya Hayashi, MD, a rheumatology specialist in the department of orthopedic surgery at Kobe University in Japan. “These medications offer options when biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS) have failed.”


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