Years ago, doctors started rheumatoid arthritis treatment with drugs that primarily addressed symptoms, gradually working their way up to DMARDs – disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, a class of medications that address the root causes of immune system malfunction, often at the cellular level.
Today, doctors believe there’s an early window of opportunity to treat rheumatoid arthritis before the onset of irreparable joint damage. New RA patients are highly likely to begin their treatment regimen with a DMARD. Studies show that taking action quickly may even put the disease into remission.
If you’re reading this, chances are good you’ve already been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and are seeing a rheumatologist who will discuss your treatment.
In an effort to quickly get people with symptoms of joint inflammation to a rheumatologist, or arthritis specialist, for diagnosis and critical early treatment, the Arthritis Foundation has launched the Inflammatory Arthritis Initiative.
If you’d like to help researchers in their efforts to find new treatments – and ultimately a cure – for rheumatoid arthritis, click here for information on enrolling in the Arthritis Foundation supported Arthritis Internet Registry. This is your chance to tell some of the nation’s leading rheumatologists about your treatments, symptoms and how you manage the disease. Participation in the project, conducted by the National Bank for Rheumatic Diseases, is free and enrollment is secure.
Learn more: Symptoms, treatments and tips for living well with rheumatoid arthritis.