Drugs that inhibit the intracellular janus kinase (JAK) enzyme systems are the latest addition to the armamentarium of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Members of this class have been approved for use and are cost-subsidised in Australia for selected patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
Drug treatment is the most effective way to manage inflammatory arthritis. A range of medications have been shown to modify the natural history of inflammatory rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. These medications are termed disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). DMARDs not only reduce symptoms of inflammation, such as pain, swelling, stiffness, fatigue and poor overall health, but also decrease structural joint and other musculoskeletal damage. In addition, they modify the long-term consequences of systemic inflammation, including osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.