9 things to know about rheumatoid arthritis management
Advances in rheumatoid arthritis therapy over the past 20 years have markedly changed the way the disease is managed.
The benefits of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in reducing inflammation are now well known.
However, to achieve the best outcomes and delay progression, experts recommend that treatment is started promptly.
They caution that delaying it beyond the first three months causes more joint destruction and a higher chance of needing ongoing DMARDs.
Based on the latest evidence, here are 9 tips for managing the drug treatment of RA:
- Methotrexate remains the backbone of rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
- Unless methotrexate is poorly tolerated, it should always be continued when starting other DMARDs.
- Supplementation with folic acid can improve the gastrointestinal symptoms and reduce the risk of liver function abnormalities.