A biologic, or biologic response modifier, is a drug that uses substances from living organisms to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight infection or disease. Biologics are being used in the treatment of joint, ligament, and tendon injuries and damage.

What is an autoimmune disease?

The job of your immune system is to protect you from disease and infection. A healthy system will produce an abundance of antibodies, proteins that the immune system uses to neutralize pathogens, such as viruses, parasites, and bacteria, all recognized as foreign substances. Different types of antibodies attack different types of pathogens. When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system mistakenly identifies various parts of your body as foreign. In such cases, it produces proteins called autoantibodies that will attack healthy cells.

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What is a combination biologic treatment?

Biologics offer some of the most advanced treatments available. A combination biologic treatment is the addition of a biologic to another type of therapy. It is generally not the combination of two different biologics; rather it is the addition of a biologic to a more traditional drug or approach to treatment that has not proven as effective as had been anticipated.

Under what conditions is a combination biologic treatment recommended?

There are many drugs and treatments available for virtually every type of autoimmune disease, and there are specific indications and contraindications for each one. Biologic combination treatments may be recommended when the traditional therapy has not met the desired treatment goals, or when using higher doses for a longer period could produce a toxic reaction that could damage the area you are attempting to treat.

What is the advisability of using a combined biologic treatment?

Every treatment should be carefully evaluated to determine its safety for the individual patient. A combined biologic treatment can produce a far superior outcome. While treatment carries some rare risks, by adding a biologic, healing can be speeded, and the efficacy of a medication enhanced.

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Combination Biological Treatment FAQ's

How do biologics help the immune system recognize diseased cells?

Your body produces “checkpoints” on certain immune cells that are activated or inactivated to start an immune response. Cancer cells sometimes find ways to avoid the checkpoints, which allows them to proliferate, but certain biologics have the capacity to turn “on” or “off” the signals that allow suppression of the immune system.

How can biologics induce the immune system to halt joint, tendon, or ligament conditions or damage?

Your body has the ability to heal itself, but this ability can be suppressed by various factors. When treating joint, tendon, or ligament conditions or damages, a combination biologic treatment has been found to trigger faster healing and enhance the effects of the other medication. Some biologics interfere with the activation of white blood cells, which lead to inflammation and further damage. Many patients have experienced a remarkable level of recovery, with relief from inflammation, stiffness, and joint pain with the help of combination biologic treatments.

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