The anti-rheumatic drug anakinra is an effective treatment for patients with ankylosing spondylitis, a serious type of arthritis that commonly affects the spine, according to a new study.
In a three-month study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Dr. D. McGonagle and colleagues from Leeds General Infirmary, UK, examined the effects of anakinra in nine patients with ankylosing spondylitis that failed to respond to standard drugs.Treatment with anakinra, which was given as a daily injection, improved the subjects’ back pain, mobility, and quality of life. In addition, MRI testing showed that many of the arthritic areas in the back improved or disappeared.This study suggests that anakinra is effective in patients with ankylosing spondylitis that is resistant to standard treatments, the authors write. However, larger studies are needed to establish its effectiveness against this disease.(SOURCE: Reuters, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, September 2004.)