New safe and cheap treatment for rheumatoid arthritis

11 November 2014

Published in Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, a new study has found a safe and cheap treatment strategy for rheumatoid arthritis.

There is currently no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, meaning that much of the research in this field focuses on suppressing the disease, and finding ways to prevent patients from suffering from it.

Doctoral researcher Diederik De Cock from KU Leuven has described a novel method for treating it with a new drug combination. The strategy requires less medication and has fewer side effects, as well as costing significantly less.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain and stiffness in the joints, fatigue, bone damage and, eventually, loss of mobility and affects about one per cent of people in the western world. Therapies have significantly improved in recent years, with clinical studies showing that intensive treatment in the early stages can prevent joint damage and improve patients’ quality of life.

The researchers divided 290 early patients into three treatment groups, with each group being assigned a different combination therapy. The new COBRA Slim strategy, which calls for the least amount of medication, had half as many side effects as the two other strategies but was just as effective.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 

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