How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated?

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The therapy for rheumatoid arthritis encomposes the use of a group of a group of medicines which we call the DMARDS, which stands for Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs. This nomenclature is actually very important because what we're hoping to do by treating Rheumatoid Arthritis, is slow down the progression of the disease as well as reverse some of the joint damage that may have already occurred at the time that we first see our patients.

So these patients are not just treated symptomatically with anti inflammatories or steroids, but they're using, we're using medicines to treat them that, again, we hope will slow down the progression of their disease. There's a group of medicines which are called the traditional DMARDS, those medicine may include, Plaquenil, Arava, Methotrexate, sulfasalazine as well as newer medicines which are broadly termed the biologic DMARDS. These medicines have actually been around for quite some time right now, examples, which you may have seen on commercials include Enbrel, Humira and remicade.

Biologic medicines are, as they are named, biologically engineered in the laboratory to specifically target certain pathways that we know exists in Rheumatoid Arthritis and they can be very effective in helping reduce the signs and symptoms of the disease as well as to put it into remission.