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Do Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs Actually Modify Disease Course in Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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Summary

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS) have been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis for a number of years. Despite this extensive use, their efficacy in modifying the course of the disease has been disputed. Possible reasons for this might be the design of the relevant studies, the fact that patients were studied in a late phase of their disease, and the methods used to evaluate radiographic progression.

With the use of drugs such as methotrexate and sulfasalazine early in the disease process a retardation of radiographic progression has been clearly demonstrated. Another advantage of these drugs is their relatively rapid onset of action and improved risk-benefit ratio compared with older drugs.

Whether treatment with combinations of DMARDs is superior to treatment with single agents is the subject of ongoing studies.

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Correspondence to Professor Leo B. A. van de Putte.

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van de Putte, L.B.A., van Riel, P.L.C.M. Do Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs Actually Modify Disease Course in Rheumatoid Arthritis?. Clin. Immunother. 1, 319–322 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03258509

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Keywords

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Antirheumatic Drug
  • Sulphasalazine
  • Auranofin