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Drug Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis in Adults

Slide: 35 of 45

Summary of Results: Comparative Benefits of DMARDs for Patients With Early RA

Some clinical research has focused on treatment of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis, defined for this comparative effectiveness review as less than 3 years’ duration of disease. This table presents a summary of the results of those studies, organized according to the patient characteristics and by the interventions compared in the study. Disease activity and symptom response, radiographic evidence of progression, and functional status were reported. Quality-of-life outcomes were not reported in the studies. The strength of evidence is moderate for one conclusion, finding that methotrexate and adalimumab or etanercept produce similar effects on symptoms. The evidence is limited for all other comparisons, making the strength of evidence low.

Abbreviations:
DMARD = disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug; MTX = methotrexate; NR = not reported; RA = rheumatoid arthritis; SOE = strength of evidence