Drug Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis in Adults
Conclusions (1 of 4)
For patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have not been treated with methotrexate (MTX), treatment with either MTX or a biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) provides similar benefits for symptoms and function. However, biologic DMARDs are more effective at limiting radiographic evidence of progression.
The evidence is too limited to permit conclusions about whether one combination strategy is better than another in treating early RA (<3 years’ duration).
Evidence is accumulating that biologic DMARDs as a class, offer greater likelihood of remission in patients with longstanding active disease than do oral ones.
Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis | RA | DMARDs | disease-modifying | antirheumatic | anti-rheumatic | methotrexate | oral DMARD | biologic DMARD | adverse effects
- Donahue KE, Jonas D, Hansen RA, et al. Drug Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis in Adults: An Update. Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 55 (Prepared by the RTI International–University of North Carolina Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-2007-10056-I). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; April 2012. AHRQ Publication No. 12-EHC025-EF. Available at www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/dmardsra.cfm.
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