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Medical News and Perspectives
December 28, 2005

Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments Weighed

JAMA. 2005;294(24):3073-3074. doi:10.1001/jama.294.24.3073

Has the BeSt study uncovered the best treatment courses to offer patients newly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis?

Currently, the goal of treatment for the more than 2 million Americans (mostly women over age 40 years) with this progressive inflammatory disease of the joints and organs is to relieve symptoms and prevent long-term structural damage and functional decline. To that end, physicians typically treat these patients with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), either sequentially or in a step-up combination (with or without a corticosteroid) or coupled with a tumor necrosis factor antagonist biologic.

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