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Hi, I started having pain in my joints two weeks ago. It does not diminish. On the contrary, it increases. I went to the doctor and the diagnosis was rheumatoid arthritis. The pain is still strong and the doctor suggested a new treatment. He wants to try Remicade. What can you tell me about Remicade for rheumatoid arthritis?

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Hi, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It can affect all joints in the body. The pain is caused by inflammation. There are cases when rheumatoid arthritis goes away with no damage done to the joints. On the other hand, there are cases when the pain is persistent and the illness lasts for a very long time, even the entire life. Judging from your symptoms, I can say that you might have a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis. The drug Remicade, that the doctor has suggested, can help with the pain. It is given intravenously. Remicade is actually an antibody that blocks the effect of TNF-alpha. This is a substance that the cells of our body are producing. It plays a significant part in creation of the inflammation. What happens is that TNF-alpha sends signals to immune cells of inflammation to contribute to inflammation. Since Remicade blocks the TNF-alpha, the inflammation is diminished and with it the pain as well. Remicade does not cure the rheumatoid arthritis but can postpone the destruction of the joints.
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