Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs

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Rheumatologists now seem to accept that early treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs is required if erosions are to be prevented. Methotrexate remains the most popular disease-modifying antirheumatic drug and is used in the most popular combination treatments, although the dose needs to be reduced in the elderly and those with renal dysfunction. The combination of sulfasalazine, methotrexate with reducing high-dose prednisolone, is demonstrated to be cost-effective in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but although several other combinations have been reported effective in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, most trials do not have the power to provide a definitive answer as to the best combination available, if one exists.

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