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Treatment: biologics 

Treatment: biologics
Treatment: biologics

Juergen Braun

and Irene E. van der Horst-Bruinsma

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date: 29 September 2020

According to classification criteria, the spectrum of spondyloarthritis (SpA) covers axial SpA (axSpA), which includes non-radiographic axSpA and ankylosing spondylitis, and peripheral SpA, which overlaps with psoriatic arthritis. Management recommendations for many forms of SpA have been recently published. Treatment of patients with axSpA with active disease starts with a sufficient dose of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for at least 4 weeks and preferably longer, in combination with exercise. In case of peripheral SpA, several disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs can be given, but these are not efficacious in axial disease. In case of insufficient response to NSAIDs for axSpA, biologic treatment can be added. The biologics most commonly used are TNF-blocking agents, but some other biologic agents seem to be beneficial in axial diseases as well, such as secukinumab (an IL-17 blocker). However, these new drugs have not yet been approved for axSpA at the time of writing this chapter.

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