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What are the next steps when biologic drugs don't help your rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

ANSWER

It may take some trial and error to find the biologic drug that works best for your rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but there's a good reason to keep at it. Most folks eventually find one that helps -- and when you do, it may ease your symptoms or cause them to fade completely.

You should start to feel better in 4 to 6 weeks, though sometimes it can take 3 to 6 months to work. Your doctor may also prescribe other medicines that work faster to help you in the meantime.

However, if your symptoms don't improve, let your doctor know. The goal is to find the best medicines for you as quickly as possible. Timely treatment helps protect your body from RA damage.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on September 15, 2019

Medically Reviewed on 9/15/2019

SOURCES:

Patience White, MD, chief public health officer, Arthritis Foundation.

Alan Friedman, MD, spokesman, American College of Rheumatology.

American College of Rheumatology: "Biologic Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis," "Anti-TNF," "Tocilizumab."

Arthritis Foundation: "Drug Guide: Biologics."

FDA: "FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira."

News Release, FDA.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on September 15, 2019

SOURCES:

Patience White, MD, chief public health officer, Arthritis Foundation.

Alan Friedman, MD, spokesman, American College of Rheumatology.

American College of Rheumatology: "Biologic Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis," "Anti-TNF," "Tocilizumab."

Arthritis Foundation: "Drug Guide: Biologics."

FDA: "FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira."

News Release, FDA.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on September 15, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

What biologics do doctors prescribe to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

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