Shingles risk increased by Rheumatoid Arthritis DrugsThe risk of shingles, especially among older people and those who are also taking steroids is increased when a class of medications used widely to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases is administered.

The findings, appearing in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, may enhance the level of awareness about potential complication among physicians and patients, yet some experts of the view that they are unlikely to bring a change in context to how the drugs are used.

Dr. Guy Fiocco, an assistant professor of internal medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and director of rheumatology at Scott & White in Temple, said that this modest risk increase is not a deterrent in prescribing the drug but would only enhance awareness.