Exactly how auranofin works is not well understood. It may act as an inhibitor of kappab kinase and thioredoxin reductase which would lead to a decreased immune response and decreased free radical production, respectively. In patients with inflammatory arthritis, such as adult and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, gold salts can decrease the inflammation of the joint lining. This effect can prevent destruction of bone and cartilage.
Auranofin is a gold salt used in treating inflammatory arthritis. Gold salts are called second-line drugs because they are often considered when the arthritis progresses in spite of antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs and corticosteroids).
Oral, rat: LD50 = > 2000 mg/kg. Symptoms of overdose may include diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and symptoms of hypersensitivity (such as skin rash, hives, itching, and difficulty breathing).