Anti-TNF drugs increase risk of shingles in arthritis patients

A report filed in MedWire by Ingrid Grasmo highlighted the dangers of anti-TNF therapy.  She wrote about a study presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology.  The investigators showed that patients with inflammatory forms of arthritis who are treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor medications are significantly more likely to experience herpes zoster infections –shingles- than shinglesthose treated with traditional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

“Shingles” is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the same virus that causes chickenpox. While the infection can be treated with anti-viral medication, patients are often left with residual pain, called post-herpetic neuralgia.  This pain can be debilitating.

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