Original Article

HSS Journal

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 30-41

First online:

Combination Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Era of Biologicals

  • Allan GibofskyAffiliated withDepartments of Medicine and Public Health, Weill Medical College of Cornell UniversityHospital for Special Surgery Email author 

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Abstract

Early, aggressive disease management is critical for halting disease progression and joint destruction in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Combination therapy with at least two disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, such as methotrexate (MTX), sulfasalazine, or hydroxychloroquine, is often more effective than monotherapy in reducing disease activity. Biologic therapies represent more effective and tolerable treatment options that, when combined with MTX, have been shown to dramatically reduce inflammation, inhibit radiographic progression, and induce remission. Although several types of treatment strategies are used in clinical practice, the most aggressive approaches that target early disease have shown the most promise in reversing disease progression and reducing disease-related costs.

Key words

combination therapy disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs joint destruction rheumatoid arthritis tumor necrosis factor antagonists