Studies have shown that patients diagnosed and treated early have better long-term outcomes. Additionally, in the short term they are able to have better relief of their pain and return to work and their other daily activities faster.
There are numerous medications available for RA. In the short term, many patients are started on ibuprofen or related medicines to decrease the pain and swelling. Patients who present with moderate to severe symptoms are often started on prednisone to decrease their swelling and pain.
The long term treatment of RA requires treatment with one or more medications called DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs). These include medications such as hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate, leflunomide, or sulfasalazine.
The rhematologist can help tailor your treatment based on your symptoms, other medical conditions and medications, and the potential side effects of the medication. Additionally, our providers will be in communication with your primary care provider about your diagnosis and plan of treatment.