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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

MeReC Bulletin - Rheumatoid Arthritis

The National Prescribing Centre has published a MeReC Bulletin (PDF)that provides an update on drug treatment in rheumatoid arthritis.

The bulletin provides a brief introduction into the early diagnosis of the disease and covers the place in therapy for disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologic agents and corticosteroids.

In addition, combination therapy is also discussed as well as consideration of the safety issues around methotrexate, monitoring of DMARDs and biologic agents and how to limit corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis.

Perhaps the most valuable part of this Bulletin is the summary table of recommendations for monitoring for adverse effects from DMARDs and biologic therapies.

Action: Clinicians involved in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, or in the monitoring of drug therapy, will find this bulletin useful and informative.

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