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Easing Painful Points

Drug makers are taking the “ouch” out of biologic injections.

Jennifer Davis

Biologic medications have revolutionized the treatment of autoimmune types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis. But the injections can be painful. That’s a problem because they need to be taken regularly – sometimes as often as weekly, or even daily.

“Getting an injection is hard enough. The needle stick alone is not fun. But then, if you have a medication that causes burning at the injection site or as it’s going in, that can make injections pretty traumatic for patients,” says Cara M. Hoffart, DO, a pediatric rheumatologist and pain clinic director at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri.

Dr. Hoffart understands all too well; she gets injections to manage her ankylosing spondylitis. “Pain has factored into me thinking about trying different medications,” she admits.

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