Arthritis Drug May Help Ease Other Type of Joint Pain

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According to the results of a study conducted in both the United States and Europe, adalimumab (Humira), a commonly used rheumatoid arthritis drug, also may help to reduce the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The findings were presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in San Diego, Calif.

The study included 315 AS patients who had no success with at least 1 other form of therapy. The patients were randomly assigned either 40 mg of adalimumab or a placebo for 24 weeks. Researchers used 5 assessment methods to measure the patients' clinical responses to the treatment. The goal was a 20% improvement in AS signs and symptoms.

The researchers found that, at 12 and 24 weeks, more than twice as many patients taking the adalimumab reached the 20% symptom-improvement goal, compared with those taking the placebo. Some patients showed improvement as early as 2 weeks into the study.