DMARDs vs. Biologics for RA

Hide Video Transcript

Video Transcript

There are several effective treatments for RA, including DMARDs and biologics. Both types of medications control rheumatoid arthritis by lowering the inflammation that fuels it, but there are differences between them. Your doctor is more likely to prescribe DMARDs first. These drugs fight inflammation by turning down your immune system or by targeting certain immune cells. They come in pills, shots, or infusions through a vein. You may need to take more than one type of DMARD to keep your rheumatoid arthritis in check.

If traditional RA drugs don't help, your doctor may prescribe you a biologic. These drugs target specific immune system proteins called cytokines to bring down inflammation. Biologics may give you relief more quickly, but they can be expensive, and you can only get them through shots or IV infusions. Whether you take a DMARD, biologic, or a combination of both, these drugs can slow or stop RA from getting worse. And that can make a world of difference for your joints.