Inhibitors of tumor necrosis factor: new treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis

Cleve Clin J Med. 1999 Jun;66(6):367-74. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.66.6.367.


Infliximab and etanercept, both approved by the FDA in 1998, are examples of a new class of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs that interfere with the action of tumor necrosis factor alpha, one of the key cytokines that promote inflammation. Infliximab is approved for Crohn disease and etanercept for rheumatoid arthritis. Both show promise in treating rheumatoid arthritis, although the long-term risks and benefits of these drugs are not yet known.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Etanercept
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab
  • Etanercept