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Are older disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis?

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While there are more choices than ever to treat rheumatoid arthritis, researchers also have found new promise in some old treatments.

Recent studies show that some of the first disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs  -- hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), methotrexate (Otrexup, Rheumatrex, Trexall), and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine, Azulfidine EN-tabs) -- when combined, may work as well as methotrexate plus a biologic. This “triple therapy,” as it's called, gives you and your doctor another approach if methotrexate alone is not working. It's also an option if you're wary of biologics because of their side effects or high cost.

From: New Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American College of Rheumatology: “Biologic Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Arthritis Foundation: “Will JAK Inhibitors Change Your RA Treatment?”

Cohen, M. Omair. , Aug. 2013. International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment.”

Lv, S. , published online Oct. 20, 2014. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “Handout on Health: Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

O’Dell, J. , published online July 25, 2013. New England Journal of Medicine

Singh, J. , May 2012. Arthritis Care & Research

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on September 04, 2018

SOURCES:

American College of Rheumatology: “Biologic Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Arthritis Foundation: “Will JAK Inhibitors Change Your RA Treatment?”

Cohen, M. Omair. , Aug. 2013. International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment.”

Lv, S. , published online Oct. 20, 2014. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “Handout on Health: Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

O’Dell, J. , published online July 25, 2013. New England Journal of Medicine

Singh, J. , May 2012. Arthritis Care & Research

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on September 04, 2018

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What are current areas of study for rheumatoid arthritis?

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