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Exercise: How Much Is Enough? Can Pain Clinics Help People With RA? What Triggers an Arthritis Flare? Prabha Ranganathan, MD, an associate professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at Washington University School of Medicine. Most rheumatologists, once they’re convinced that a patient really has rheumatoid arthritis, will use methotrexate as first-line therapy.
RA treatment for three decades. Researchers first developed this drug in the 1940s as a cancer treatment. Three years later, methotrexate won FDA approval for treating RA, and it soon became the treatment of choice for people with this condition and other forms of inflammatory arthritis as well. Typically people will start with a weekly dose of 7. 5 to 10 mg, equal to three or four pills.
If that doesn’t help with symptoms, the doctor may raise your dosage to 20 to 25 mg per week, or as high a dose as you can tolerate. Taking the drug this way puts more of it into your system without increasing side effects. You can administer methotrexate yourself using an auto-injector. Methotrexate is effective, but not everyone who takes it gains adequate relief from joint pain, swelling, morning stiffness and other symptoms. Yusuf Yazici, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine’s Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City. Fortunately for patients who need more relief, combining methotrexate with other medications will usually do the job, says Dr. These drugs inhibit part of the overactive immune system response that contributes to many types of inflammatory arthritis.