June 24, 2010
Early And Aggressive Arthritis Treatment Recommended
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) should be used early and aggressively at the first sign of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The results of an 11-year trial, published in BioMed Central's open access journal Arthritis Research & Therapy, demonstrate that active treatment from the very beginning pays off, even in the long run.
Dr Vappu Rantalaiho, from Tampere University Hospital, Finland, worked with a team of researchers to study radiologic progression in 195 patients with RA. She said, "Early therapy with combinations of conventional DMARDs has been shown to retard the radiologic progression of RA for a period of up to 5 years, but until now the effects of initial aggressive DMARD therapy on radiologic prognosis after that were unknown. We've shown that even after 11 years, early and aggressive therapy achieves excellent results for most patients".
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