Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Daily Pain, Fatigue From Rheumatoid Arthritis

70% of Patients Experience Daily Difficulties, Says Study
WebMD Health News

Oct. 1, 2004 -- Pain, stiffness, and fatigue affect 70% of rheumatoid arthritis patients every day despite treatment with the newer, more advanced drugs against the disease, according to a new Arthritis Foundation survey.

The telephone survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for the Arthritis Foundation, included 500 adults with rheumatoid arthritis.

Over the past decade, newer, more sophisticated drugs have been developed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, giving hope to doctors that they may be able to better control the disease. "This survey brings to light the need for aggressive research to improve the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a disease affecting more than 2.1 million Americans," says John H. Klippel, MD, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, in a news release.

Eligible participants had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, had seen a doctor specializing in arthritis at least once a year, described their rheumatoid arthritis as moderate or severe, and were taking either a biologic drug (such as Enbrel, Humira, Kineret, and Remicade) or one of two disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) (Arava or methotrexate).

Half of the participants said that taking one of these types of arthritis medications had improved their pain, stiffness, and swelling. About 50% also said their quality of life had improved.

Most also ranked their overall quality of life at 5 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest quality of life.

However, participants also reported continuing difficulties, despite their medications.

More than one third ranked their overall quality of life as five or less on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest quality of life.

Nearly half of the patients modified daily activities to compensate for symptoms.

Most patients on both types of drug also said they felt tired every day.

"While it is encouraging to learn that the majority of patients taking either DMARDs or biologics perceive their medication has provided them with some relief from their RA symptoms, the disappointment lies in the lack of control they feel in managing their condition from day to day," Klippel says.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks healthy joint tissue, causing inflammation and joint damage, according to the news release.

Three times as many women as men are affected.

Today on WebMD

rubbing hands
Avoid these 6 common mistakes.
mature couple exercising
Decrease pain, increase energy.
mature woman threading needle
How much do you know?
Swelling, fatigue, pain, and more.
Lucille Ball
Hand bones X-ray
prescription pills
Woman massaging her neck
woman roasting vegetables in oven
Woman rubbing shoulder
Working out with light weights