Feb 1, 1992

Short-term effects of antirheumatic drugs

Baillière's Clinical Rheumatology
P T Dawes, D P Symmons


Antirheumatic drugs fall into four categories: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), slow-acting antirheumatic drugs (SAARDs), corticosteroids, and cytotoxic drugs. NSAIDs are useful in controlling the symptoms and signs of inflammation. They work within a few days but patients' response varies widely and is unpredictable. Hence there is a wide choice of agent. Anxiety about the side-effects of NSAIDs, particularly on the stomach and kidney, is growing and their use is likely to decline, especially in the elderly. SAARDs are being used increasingly early in the disease. It is realized that there is only a small window of opportunity (2 years) in which to get the disease into remission before irreversible damage is done to the joints. Thus, there is a growing tendency to use combinations of SAARDs together with steroids early in the disease. The most appropriate treatment for established RA (of more than 2 years duration) is less easy to discern. It is important to define realistic treatment goals on an individual basis and to tailor the medication accordingly. Cytotoxic drugs are still reserved for severe aggressive joint disease or for systemic manifestations. Once we are able to predict outcome more accurately, the ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Antineoplastic Agents
Articular System
Antirheumatic Agents
Analgesics, Anti-Inflammatory
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
Corticosteroids, topical for treatment of hemorrhoids and anal fissures
Catatoxic Steroids
Rheumatoid Arthritis

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