|Part of the My Care Navigator series|
These interactive videos let you quickly find the answer to each question. Simply click on the key moments button at the top of the video, then click the question to jump directly to the answer.
Key Moments in This Video:
Doctors often recommend biologics to people with nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) who haven’t found relief using first-line treatments — usually nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or indomethacin (Indocin). If NSAIDs aren’t working for you, it’s time for an open, honest conversation with your doctor about alternatives. The sooner you get your condition under control, the more likely you’ll prevent long-term damage to your joints.
A type of disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), biologics are human-made proteins that target parts of the immune system responsible for joint-damaging nr-axSpA inflammation. Clinical trials have proven biologics can be very effective in slowing nr-axSpA progression — but shifting from NSAIDs to biologics requires adjusting to a new way of taking medication. Rather than being taken by mouth, biologics are administered via injections — which can be done at home — or IV, performed in a clinical setting.
Watch this video for guidance on what questions you might ask your own doctor about starting biologics for nr-axSpA. From there, check out other videos in this series on topics like how to start a conversation about nr-axSpA treatments, how to manage potential biologic side effects, ways to stick with your treatment, and what lifestyle changes you can adopt to manage your condition.
Have more questions? See if they’re among the top three questions rheumatologist Dr. Siddharth Tambar gets about nr-axSpA.
On MySpondylitisTeam — the social network for people with spondylitis and their loved ones — members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with spondylitis.
Have you and your rheumatologist had a conversation about biologics for nr-axSpA? What did you decide to do? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.
00:00:05:03 - 00:00:13:00
Since we tried different NSAIDs and none of them worked well for you, we should try a biologic drug. Are you familiar with biologics?
00:00:13:00 - 00:00:14:07
No. What are they?
00:00:14:07 - 00:00:19:03
Biologics are man-made versions of proteins produced by the body.
00:00:19:03 - 00:00:19:18
00:00:19:18 - 00:00:28:13
They are designed to switch off the inflammation that leads to pain, stiffness, and joint damage. They’ve been shown in clinical studies to work very well.
00:00:28:20 - 00:00:29:23
Is it a pill?
00:00:29:23 - 00:00:44:06
No. Biologics need to be injected to work properly. Most can be injected at home, either self-injected or by someone else. You'll be trained on how to inject your medication to make it go smoothly and comfortably.
00:00:44:07 - 00:00:46:08
How often do they have to be injected?
00:00:46:18 - 00:01:10:21
Most biologics for treating axSpA only have to be injected once every four weeks after initial doses. If you really don't want to inject them at home, there are some biologics that can be taken by IV infusion at a clinic. Those don’t have to be taken so often. We can go over all your options and decide together which one will be good for you.