Reports of Nasty Side Effects From Arthritis Drug Are Way up

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Research shows that rheumatoid arthritis patients have been shown to have higher levels of Epstein-Barr virus in their blood, and their T cells don’t control EBV very well. T cells help rid the body of cells that have been infected by viruses as well as cells that have been transformed into Leukemia Cancer .Another recent study showed that antibodies, which can help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis called rheumatoid factor, can also reactivate EBV.A cautionary note: “These Lymphoma Cancer cases are rare among methotrexate takers,” Kenney tells WebMD.

“We want to emphasize that fewer than 1 in 1,000 patients per year who get methotrexate who have rheumatoid arthritis get EBV Leukemia Cancer . It’s a very low-risk situation. We do not recommend that people stop taking methotrexate.”Mary Jo Lechowicz, MD, professor of hematology/oncology at Emory University’s Winship Lymphoma Cancer Center in Atlanta, has conducted her own research of Epstein-Barr virus and HIV. “It’s not clear how long these patients had been treated with methotrexate.

We don’t always see these lymphomas immediately after they start the treatment. Actually, with people living longer, this study also makes us wonder about the long-term risks of any Pain Relief Arthritis Drug treatment.”Lechowicz says, “There are other factors, other lymphomas that are not EBV-related but may have EBV present. The question, as in this paper, is is EBV the cause? Is it the immune system’s inability to control EBV infection, so it goes out of control? Or is it something we don’t yet know at all? We need further studies to be able to delineate that further.”