Many rheumatologists like to go with a treat-to-target approach. That’s when you and the doctor decide on a goal you want to reach -- such as low disease activity -- and regularly check your progress through lab tests and other methods. Medications may be adjusted or changed until the goal is met.
Want to know more about treat to target? Make the most of your next doctor’s appointment with this list of questions:
What is your goal for me? While you may have your own goals, it’s also a good idea to know what your doctor would like to see. Then you can work together to figure out what’s most important.
What treatments do you plan to give me? You are your own best advocate. It’s important to know how your doctor wants to treat your rheumatoid arthritis, and if you’re OK with the plan of action.
What are the side effects? It’s good to know what’s normal and what you should tell your doctor about.
How do you want me to let you know if I am having problems? Knowing the best way to communicate with your doctor can bring peace of mind. Would they like you to keep a “diary” of symptoms, side effects, and other issues to share during appointments? Or do they want you to call the office?
When should I start to see results? This gives you something to look forward to. If you’re not seeing results, then it may be a good idea to review your treatment plan.
What are signs this treatment isn’t working? Knowing what to look for helps you and your doctor fine-tune treatment.
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Arthritis Foundation: “Treat to Target Approach Improves RA Outcomes.”