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Issue 33 Synovium (Summer 2011)
Some Synovium readers may remember the days when first-line treatment, once the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was established, was a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), with more powerful disease-modifying drugs (DMARDs) being saved for later – sometimes much later in the treatment pathway. Earlier interventions with DMARDs are now the norm and further evidence to support early and aggressive treatments has been published in Arthritis Care and Research.1 Analysis of a database of around 4825 patients treated with DMARDs demonstrated that greater remission rates were achieved with earlier initiation of treatment. Results were similar for both biological agents (anti-tumour necrosis factor drugs) and non-biological (e.g. methotrexate).