New Arthritis Remedy: An Injectable Gel
It looks like there may be a real remedy within reach for the more 25 million Americans who suffer with the frequent agonizing joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. A new study at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) points to an injectable gel that can deliver pain relief exactly where and when a patient needs it.
There are already some injectable arthritis treatments, but although they take away the pain, the relief is short-lived. And there are implantable drug-delivery devices on the market, but they release medication continuously. This isn’t a perfect system for arthritis suffers because the illness acts in cycles with flare-ups and remissions and most arthritis patients don’t need meds all the time. Plus, an implantable device is likely to irritate and inflame the joint where it’s implanted.
The researchers at BWH worked on these two issues. In addition to having the ability to release a drug on demand, for example, the scientists also wanted a delivery system that could be injected through a small needle (that wouldn’t be irritating) and at the same time allow a high concentration of the drug.
That’s how the team of scientists decided a gel was the best solution. And they only focused on materials already approved by the Food and Drug Administration as being recognized as safe for use in humans.