New understanding and approaches to treatment in rheumatoid arthritis


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Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common autoimmune inflammatory polyarthritis. Significant advances in the understanding of its pathogenesis have led in the past two decades to major advancement in its therapy. We used data from articles in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews on ‘rheumatoid arthritis’, meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials on adult RA (age >19 years) published in English within the past 5 years and identified in PubMed, and other key papers on management of RA. Appropriate, early and aggressive therapy is required for confirmed active cases of RA. The choice of disease-modifying drugs and different combinations, especially the newer biologic agents in regards of their early and long-term usage remains debated because of high costs and long-term safety concerns. Development of newer biologic agents working on different pathways of inflammation is underway in different stages. It remains to be determined how and when each of these agents will fit in the overall management of RA. Furthermore, post-marketing surveillance of the safety and response sustainability of these drugs is warranted.

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