How Can I Tell If My Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Treatment Is Working?

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In the process of evaluating a patient to see whether or not their medicine is working, we use a number of different variables. Some of those variables come from the physician and some come from the patient. From the physicians point of view, we are actually monitoring their disease activity.

We do surveillance X-rays and or MRIs or ultrasounds to detect ongoing inflammation, as well as blood work to detect inflammation. From the patient point of view, we ask them since their last visit, how many joints have been painful or swollen, as well as how long their morning stiffness is.

We also ask them if their arthritis is interfering with their daily activities, work, home life. This gives us an idea of just how significant their Arthritis is impacting them. We use these variables as well as our assessment to make a judgement on how well their treatment is working.