The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis
For initial treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, most expert clinicians prescribe a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) and add a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) or a corticosteroid to control symptoms. Methotrexate is generally the DMARD of choice... DMARDs Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are used early in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to achieve clinical remission, prevent irreversible damage to joints, and minimize toxicity associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids. DMARDs generally do not have an immediate analgesic effect, but over time can control symptoms and have been shown to delay and possibly stop progression of the disease. Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, and others) is generally the first DMARD prescribed; it can be used to treat mild, moderate, or severe RA. For mild disease, some clinicians prefer to start with hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil, and ... more      
The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

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