Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is an inflammatory disorder that causes stiffness in neck, hips, shoulders, thighs, arms, and muscle pain. The term “myalgia” is a Greek word meaning “muscle pain” and as pain occurs in various body parts it is called as polymyalgia. This disorder particularly occurs in elderly people above 60 years. It is more prevalent in females than males, with a ratio of 2:1. In some individuals, the disease takes place over night, while in others it develops over a period of time. Polymyalgia rheumatica is often associated with giant cell arteritis (GCA). This condition results in swelling of arteries in head, which leads to blurred vision and headaches.
The exact cause of the disease is unknown, but it is believed that interactions between various factors such as autoimmunity, genetic predisposition, and viral infections could lead to rise of the disorder. In autoimmunity, a person’s own immune cells cause damage to joints and connective tissue leading to onset of polymyalgia rheumatica. Reports have shown that inherited factors increase the chances of acquiring the disease. According to some studies, there is a greater risk of PMR in individuals having HLA-DR4 haplotype. Moreover, people of Scandinavian and Northern European ancestry are at a high risk of PMR. Viral infections also trigger polymyalgia rheumatic. Some viruses such as human parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, and parvovirus B19 have been suggested as being one of the causes of PMR.
Some general symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica include severe weakness, fatigue, exhaustion, mild fever with an irregular pattern, loss of appetite, anxiety and depression, unexplained weight loss, mild anemia, a general feeling of being unwell or malaise and loss of function of affected parts with limited mobility. Increase in population and rise in life expectancy of individuals are the major drivers of the polymyalgia rheumatica treatment market. Moreover, the global polymyalgia rheumatic treatment market will gain impetus due to increase in drug discovery, development, and awareness about the disorder. Furthermore, around 40% to 60% people suffering from giant cell arteritis develop polymyalgia rheumatica.
The global polymyalgia rheumatica treatment market has been segmented based on diagnostic method, type of therapy, and by end-user. Diagnostic methods primarily include certain blood tests and imaging tests. Blood test includes estimation of indicators of inflammation and infection. It consists of complete blood count (CBC), quantification of erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), or estimation of CRP which is C-reactive protein. Other blood tests include determination of antinuclear antibody (ANA), rheumatoid factor (RF), and anticyclic citrullinated peptide (Anti-CCP). Advancement in technology has led to use of various imaging tests such as X-ray, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography (PET) to distinguish PMR from other diseases resembling similar signs and symptoms.
There is no permanent cure for polymyalgia rheumatica; however, the line of treatment is to reduce and manage pain and inflammation. In terms of therapy, the global polymyalgia rheumatica treatment market has been segmented into corticosteroids therapy, pain killers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, calcium and vitamin D supplementation, and disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Drugs such as prednisolone is given to patients in low concentrations in corticosteroids therapy. This therapy generally lasts for around two years. To manage inflammation and pain, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs such as nimesulide, paracetamol, diclofenac, and aceclofenac are given along with corticosteroids therapy. Intake of corticosteroids often leads to osteoporosis, and hence vitamin and calcium supplements are necessary. Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs are prescribed when the disease condition does not improve even after undergoing corticosteroid therapy. These include drugs such as leflunomide and methotrexate which belong to the class of immune suppressants.
Based on end-user, the global polymyalgia rheumatica treatment market has been categorized into hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, research labs, and clinical practitioners. Geographically, the market is dominated by North America and Europe. This disorder is more common among in people in Northern Europe. The average incidence of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) in the U.S. is 52.5 cases per 100,000 persons aged 50 years and older. Hence, high prevalence in these regions is likely to fuel the growth of the market.
Key players in the global polymyalgia rheumatica market are Laser Pharmaceuticals LLC, Apotheca, Inc., Zylera Pharmaceuticals, LLC, Apotex Corporation, Pfizer, Teva Parenteral Medicines, Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline plc, among others.
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