tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitor


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tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitor

A drug that blocks the effects of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), a biologically active cytokine that is a critical element of the inflammatory response. Such drugs, which include adalimumab, etanercept, and infliximab, are agents used to treat autoimmune illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis.

CAUTION!

Because these drugs are immunologically active, patients with active infection or those with chronic infections such as tuberculosis should not use them. These agents also sometimes increase the risk of cancers and have rarely been associated with demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis.
See also: inhibitor
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