The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new injection for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and children with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Arthritis Today reports.
The injection, which is a form of methotrexate, is administered using a prefilled auto-injector and is the second such product to gain approval from the administration within the last 12 months. Methotrexate is used for patients with inflammatory arthritis, as it is a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) that can help relieve pain and help slow joint destruction. It is the most commonly used treatment for arthritis sufferers and can be taken either in pill form or injected.
In October 2013, the FDA approved a pre-filled, disposable auto-injector called Otrexup – this delivers a single dose of methotrexate without the need of a professional to measure the dose. Rasuvo, the newly approved injectable form of methotrexate, offers a number of different dosage strengths; although Otrexup offers four strengths, Rasuvo offers ten, from 7.5mg to 30mg.
Auto-injectors offer patients more freedom as they don´t have to spend time measuring out the shot themselves. Director of rheumatology at the Children´s Mercy Hospital in Kansas, Dr Mara Becker, noted that the approval of Rasuvo is “great news” for children suffering from arthritis. Not only is the shot less painful, but it means the margin of error is reduced, with the possibility of administering an incorrect dosage minimised.
Some studies have found methotrexate to be absorbed by the body more efficiently when injected rather than when taken orally; however, other studies have found no significant difference between the two different forms. Common side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, have also been found to be reduced when methotrexate is administered with an injection.