Rheumatic diseases are collectively called "Vatharogam" in Malayalam colloquially.They are a range of conditions and include ,osteoarthritis(sandhi vatham),Rheumatoid arthritis(ama vatham),gout,psoriatic arthritis( arthritis in patients with the skin disease psoriatic arthritis),Ankylosing spondylitis( inflammatory spine disease),fibromayalgia,connective tissue diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus,sjogrens syndrome,mixed connective tissue disease and scleroderma.Then there are a host of conditions like vasculitis,anti phospholipid syndrome and myopathies.Also is osteoporosis where the bone becomes thin and cause fracture.Paediatric rheumatology is another area.
The department is specialized in the diagnosis and management of the above conditions and also soft tissue rheumatism like carpal tunnel syndrome,various tendinopathies,tenosynovitis and enthesitis.
Besides using Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs(DMARDs), the centre is capable of giving the latest Biologic response modifier therapy(BRMs) ,many of which are coming as infusions.These drugs are so potent that even in early rheumatoid arthritis it can induce remission in roughly 20% of patients.The following are a list of infusions given
- Rituximab(Reditux and ristova)(Roche is marketing Mab Thera as ristova in India)
- Advise on injecting etanercept (Enbrel)is also given .
- The centre has now more than 30 Malayali patients from Kerala who have used BRMs.
International patients can also avail this service since some of the BRMs comes at a lower cost in India,low infusion charges and there are good biosimilars for some conditions(example PTH for osteoporosis).