The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Superseded by The Medical Letter "Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis" - Issue 1637, November 15, 2021
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are used for initial treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to achieve clinical remission and prevent irreversible joint damage (see Table 1). DMARDs generally do not have an immediate analgesic effect, but over time they can control symptoms and have been shown to delay and possibly stop progression of the disease. Methotrexate (Trexall, and others) is generally the drug of choice; it can be used for patients with low, moderate, or high disease activity. For mild disease, some clinicians prefer to start with hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil, and generics) and/or sulfasalazine (Azulfidine, and others).
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