How do gold compounds (DMARDs) work?
Gold compounds (DMARDs) belong to a class of medications known as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), which modify the course of disease in rheumatoid arthritis and slow down its progression. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects joints and can permanently damage them.
The precise way in which gold compounds work is not known, however, they are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, and immunomodulating properties. Gold compounds may decrease inflammation by suppressing the activity of immune cells and preventing long-term damage to the joints.
How are gold compounds (DMARDs) used?
Gold compounds (DMARDs) are oral capsules approved by the FDA for use in rheumatoid arthritis to slow down the progression of disease in patients who have not had an adequate response to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Gold compounds are also used off-label in the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Gold compounds were previously also given as intramuscular injections, which are currently no longer available. Gold compounds are being studied for use in other conditions such as:
What are side effects of gold compounds (DMARDs)?
Side effects of gold compounds (DMARDs) may include the following:
- Pruritus (itching)
- Urticaria (hives)
- Abdominal pain
- Stomatitis (oral inflammation)
- Anorexia (loss of appetite)
- Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva, the membrane over the whites of the eye and inner eyelid surfaces)
- Dyspepsia (indigestion)
- Proteinuria (excessive protein excretion in the urine)
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Eosinophilia (high level of eosinophils, a type of immune cells)
- Elevated liver enzymes
- Glossitis (tongue inflammation)
- Hematuria (blood in the urine)
- Leukopenia (low blood count of leukocytes)
- Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count in the blood)
Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Resources