Choose Language: EN

What's New

Tocilizumab (Actemra) Approved for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis by US FDA

This is a new biological agent for treatment of autoimmune disease. The target of action is unique in that it suppresses interleukin 6 (IL-6). Existing medications target TNF (tumour necrosis factor) or the B cell.

All of these agents are in concept "magic bullets" as they work at very specific sites in the immune system. This reduces the chances of side effects.

Actemra is given as intravenous infusion once a month. Gleneagles Hospital, with A/Prof Leong as Principal Investigator, is one of the sites used in the international multicentre study. When approved by the local authorities, it will be another option for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Zoledronate (Aclasta)Proven to help patients even after a hip fracture

Aclasta (Zoledronate) is a bisphosphonate. It is a medication that slows down bone loss. It is approved for the treatment of osteoporosis as it can prevent fractures from happening and is given as an intravenous infusion once a year.

The research shows that it can even help patients who have already suffered an osteoporotic hip fracture. It is the only drug available so far where research has been done on such patients. In these hip fracture patients, it was shown that compared to placebo, zoledronate was able to prevent further fractures and even reduce mortality.

Alendronate (Fosamax)Does Alendronate (Fosamax) cause unusual fractures?

There have been case reports from Singapore and USA that unusual fractures can happen to patients taking Fosamax. However, these are only case reports. These fractures have been also seen in patients not taking Fosamax. Many of the Singapore patients did not have osteoporosis when they were started on Fosamax. This tells us that treatment should not be started too early in patients who do not have osteoporosis yet.

Fosamax studies show that there are no unexpected problems up to 10 years. There is evidence that after taking it for 5 years there is a further protection against fractures for another five years. Therefore Fosamax can be safely taken for 5 to 10 years based on current research.

Recently there have been false claims made against Fosamax such that patients and some family doctors are misled to think that they should not use Fosamax or that they should stop the medication after 3 years. This would be a pity as it is one of only a few medications that have been clearly shown to prevent hip fractures.

Our Services

There are more than 100 different types of rheumatic disorders. Our team works together to diagnose and treat the full spectrum of these disorders, including autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, as well as other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, gout and ankylosing spondylitis. Treatments for the various conditions may include lifestyle changes, medication and surgery. A/Prof Leong will tailor each treatment plan to effectively manage the condition in each patient.

Click on each service to find out more

About Our Arthritis Specialist

A/Prof Leong Keng Hong is a senior consultant Rheumatologist at Gleneagles Medical Centre and Adjunct Associate Professor, Yong Yoo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. He founded the Osteoporosis Society (Singapore) in 1996 and served as its President until 2004. He was also the Inaugural Chairman of the Chapter of Rheumatologists, College of Physicians, Academy of Medicine, Singapore from 2004-2007 and its current Chairman until 2013.