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Exp Gerontol. 2006 Dec;41(12):1250-5. Epub 2006 Nov 27.

Treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases with biologic agents: opportunities and risks for the elderly.

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  • 1Kathleen B. and Mason I. Lowance Center for Human Immunology, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, 101 Woodruff Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


The treatment armamentarium in rheumatic inflammatory diseases has drastically increased in the last years. Earlier uses of conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), along with the arrival of newer therapies including the so-called "biologic" agents, have provided better long-term outcomes for patients suffering from these illnesses. Biologic agents have shown efficacy for several diseases and failed in others. Due to a high prevalence of some of these diseases in the elderly population, this age group may also benefit, although treatment will have to be tailored to its special needs. In this mini review, we will discuss the use of these medications in rheumatic diseases with a significant prevalence in the elderly, their proven and potential uses, and the considerations that need to be taken into account when using them in this population.

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