How do tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors treat psoriatic arthritis?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

TNF inhibitors are drugs that prevent immune system cells from causing inflammation in skin and joints. They do this by blocking the action of a substance called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). TNF inhibitors include adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), etanercept (Enbrel), golimumab (Simponi), and infliximab (Remicade, Inflectra). These drugs are given by injection.

TNF inhibitors are usually prescribed for people with more severe disease and those who have not improved with other treatments. They are also recommended for people with spine disease, enthesitis, or dactylitis.

TNF inhibitors that are also approved for treating plaque psoriasis are adalimumab (Humira), etanercept (Enbrel), and infliximab (Remicade). 

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