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Drugs for rheumatoid arthritis increase the chance of herpes


People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis are exposed to a higher risk of herpes zoster, a painful state which is caused by the reactivation of the virus of chicken pox, as it was shown by an American research, carried out on 160 000 persons. From the biological standpoint, it could be assumed that in patients with RA, the risk of herpes zoster is increased because of the weaker functioning of the immune system. However, it seems that drugs which are used against arthritis cause greater liability to herpes zoster, concluded the scientists from Harvard’s school for public health. The team from Harvard discovered that in patients with RA, herpes zoster occurs in 9.83 of 1000 persons , while in healthy persons, it occurs in 3.71 promiles of people. Scientists find that the higher risk of herpes zoster has to be considered in the context with the fact that a great number of drugs against RA significantly alleviate the primary disease and improvement of the patient’s life quality.

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