Arthritis: Reports from 2003 Arthritis Meeting (cont.)


Ultracet was found to be helpful in improving quality of life in fibromyalgia patients.

Dr. Shiel's Perspective: In treating patients with fibromyalgia it is important to not only relieve symptoms, but also to return quality of life. In other words, we don't simply want to knock out pain, we also want to resume function and normal daily activities. This research reports that Ultracet (tramadol/acetaminophen) actually improved the vitality of the patients in this study.


Arava reduces inflammation by suppressing the immune cells responsible for the inflammation. It does this by preventing the formation of DNA and RNA in the immune cells by inhibiting an enzyme (dihydroorotate dehydrogenase) that is necessary for the production of a critical component of DNA and RNA, pyrimidine (a nucleic acid).

Arava (leflunomide) was significantly effective in treating BOTH the skin inflammation (psoriasis) and the arthritis in patients with psoriatic arthritis.

Dr. Shiel's Perspective: Another fine addition to the ammunition chest against psoriatic arthritis.


Several research centers reported on new drugs for treating the elevated levels of uric acid that lead to gout.

Dr. Shiel's Perspective: This is exciting news for the gout field. There was especially promising news of an experimental drug called Y700 that can be used even in patients with kidney disease (where often other drugs cannot) because the drug is metabolized by the liver and not the kidneys like the traditional gout drug allopurinol.

Last Editorial Review: 10/23/2003