Biologics and DMARDs Safe for Heart
A team of scientists in Germany studied people with RA who took biologic agents or conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs as treatment. Over the three-year study period, the findings indicate that when TNF-α inhibitors effectively reduce the inflammatory activity of RA, they are more likely to be beneficial than harmful with regard to the risk of heart failure. This was found to be especially true if there is no concomitant therapy with glucocorticoids or cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors. Furthermore, the data suggest that TNF-α inhibition does not increase the risk of worsening preexisting heart failure.
Strangfeld A, Kekow J, Schneider M, et al. Does tumor necrosis factor-α inhibition promote or prevent heart failure in patients with rheumatoid arthritis? Arthritis Rheum. 2008;58:667 – 77.