US FDA approved new drug Kevzara that contains active pharmaceutical ingredient sarilumab for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis in adult patients who are not responding to disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). FDA also indicated that this drug
can be used as single drug therapy or as combination therapy with other anti rheumatic drugs like methotrexate.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a life-time disease that most commonly affects movable joints of body. Primarily, it is an inflammatory disease manifested as joint swelling, severe pain, stiffness, increase friction and restricted mobility or movement. Major target areas of RA are wrist, hand and ankle joints. Patient may also feel lethargic, reduced energy level, restlessness and fatigue. Symptoms may become severe with passage of time. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis mostly consists of disease managements, physiotherapy, exercise and dietary control.
Exact underlying cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not fully understood but many rheumatologists presume that genetic predisposition, immune system modulation and environmental factors play important role in the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis. Initially, it starts with mild swelling around joints, feeling of joint stiffens right after sleeping and thickening of joint capsule. It is commonly observed that this majorly affects people having age 40 years or more. It has slow onset but longer duration like a chronic disease.
Kevzara/Sarilumab belong to a pharmacological class monoclonal antibody that binds with interleukin-6 receptor and causes inhibition of IL-6 receptors. Interleukin-6 receptor plays important role in inflammatory response by mediating inflammatory substances such cytokines and
interleukins. Thus, inhibition of interleukin-6 receptor is reduces the process of inflammation of swelling.
Kevzara/sarilumab Side effectsAccording to data provided by health authorities this drug exhibit following side effects during clinical trials.
- Increased liver enzymes (ALT)
- Reaction at injection site (Erythema)
- Higher risk of respiratory tract infection
- Anaphylactic reaction
- Gastrointestinal perforation
Kevzara/sarilumab Uses/Patient information
Drug is forlumated as 150mg/1.14ml and 200mg/1.14ml as a prefilled syringe. However, standard dosing frequency of this drug is 200mg administer subcutaneously after every two weeks (q2week). Dose titration must be kept in consideration in those patients who have hepatic or renal impairment
or have high ALT or platelets count.