Features December 2009 Issue

Arthritis Meds Linked to Shingles

Arthritis Meds Linked to Shingles autoimmune diseases, but the benefits usually outweigh the risks.

The same innovative drugs that halt or slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) appear to elevate the risk of shingles, tuberculosis, and autoimmune disorders. The danger is highest among older patients and those who take steroids, which are already known to increase the risk of shingles. Shingles strikes nearly one million people a year, and the chance of your developing the condition during your lifetime is about 25 percent. Shingles affects older people and those with weakened immune systems more than any other individuals.

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