Drug Combo Best for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Combination Treatment Works Best for Preventing Future Complications
WebMD News Archive
Patients With Best Results continued...
"Patients in groups 3 and 4 had the benefit of a more rapid relief of
symptoms and improvement of physical function," says researcher B. A. C.
Dijkmans, MD, of VU Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in a news
release. "In addition, there is the possibility that effective suppression
of disease activity during the early phases of the disease may ameliorate the
long-term joint damage and poor physical function and, ideally, even induce
true clinical remission without the need for ongoing DMARD treatment."
The number of rheumatoid arthritis patients in these two groups without any
progression of their disease was also higher than in the other two groups.
Overall, researchers say people who received initial combination rheumatoid
arthritis treatment experienced no more side effects than the other groups.
Methotrexate can cause severe toxicity to the liver and bone marrow. Regular
monitoring of blood counts and liver enzymes is standard during treatment.
Methotrexate can also produce injury to the lungs and the GI tract. Pregnant
women and those that are planning on being pregnant should not take this
Remicade use has been associated with severe liver injury, decreased blood
counts, and development of lymphoma (a kind of cancer). It should not be used
if you are suffering from certain other medical conditions.
Both medications have immune-suppressing activity which can make a person
more susceptible to infections, particularly opportunistic infections that can