Salicylates are relatively safe and inexpensive analgesic agents, and it is for analgesia that they are usually given to patients with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it has been demonstrated in the laboratory that these same drugs exert an anti-inflammatory effect in certain types of experimental inflammation.1 The antirheumatic action of salicylate therapy in rheumatic fever has been accepted for many years.2 Some rheumatologists have concluded from clinical experience that salicylates may also exert a therapeutically significant anti-inflammatory effect in rheumatoid arthritis,3 but there is little published evidence to support or deny this postulate. The answer to this question is of obvious importance for the clinical management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. It also has significance for the planning of clinical trials designed to evaluate the efficacy of other drugs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis; for one of the established criteria frequently used to assess activity of this
Fremont-Smith K, Bayles TB. Salicylate Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis. JAMA. 1965;192(13):1133–1136. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080260021006
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