With the ongoing development of new advanced therapies (e.g. biologics and small molecule medications), most patients are able to achieve a low level of disease activity for many of the commonly occurring autoimmune diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis). However, there is still a great need for treatments to manage people suffering from some autoimmune conditions. One example is Sjogren’s syndrome, which is an autoimmune condition that can affect multiple organs of the body.
Some of the symptoms of Sjogren’s include:
· Dry eyes
· Dry nose
· Dry mouth
· Joint pain
For a more comprehensive list of symptoms from Sjogren’s please click here.
It is important to remember that symptoms can vary from person to person.
Currently, the options to manage Sjogren’s are limited, and often studies investigating treatments for this condition are unsuccessful. Nonetheless, as recently shared by American rheumatologist Dr. Jack Cush, early results from a preliminary study showed that a biologic treatment, Ianalumab, helped lower disease activity after 24 weeks of treatment.
As pharmacists specializing in autoimmune conditions, we are always excited about findings like this because it gives us a glimpse of the kinds of treatments that may be made available in the near future to best help our patients.
Kunal Bhatt, RPh, PharmD, HBSc is a staff pharmacist for Charlton Health. As a 2020 PharmD graduate from the University of Toronto, Kunal possesses a diverse range of experiences from working in hospital and community pharmacy settings. Since January 2021, Kunal was heavily invested in contributing to the efforts against COVID-19 by administering upwards of 5000 COVID-19 vaccines at William Osler Health System’s vaccination clinics.
Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health. Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.