, Volume 31, Issue 8, pp 780-802
Date: 12 Aug 2014

Therapeutic Options After Treatment Failure in Rheumatoid Arthritis or Spondyloarthritides

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Abstract

The prognosis for patients with rheumatoid arthritis or spondyloarthritides has improved dramatically due to earlier diagnosis, recognition of the need to treat early with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs), alone or in combinations, the establishment of treatment targets, and the development of biological DMARDs (bDMARDs). Many patients are now able to achieve clinical remission or low disease activity with therapy, and reduce or eliminate systemic corticosteroid use. Guidelines recommend methotrexate as a first-line agent for the initial treatment of rheumatoid arthritis; however, a majority of patients will require a change of csDMARD or step up to combination therapy with the addition of another csDMARD or a bDMARD. However, treatment failure is common and switching to a different therapy may be required. The large number of available treatment options, combined with a lack of comparative data, makes the choice of a new therapy complex and often not evidence based. We summarize and discuss evidence to inform treatment decisions in patients who require a change in therapy, including baseline factors that may predict response to therapy.