Current management of rheumatoid arthritis is focused on early referral, diagnosis and treatment, with the aim of achieving early disease remission and thereby limiting joint damage and functional disability.
- Early referral, early diagnosis and early introduction of disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy can improve the course of rheumatoid arthritis.
- DMARD therapy, with the aim of reducing joint inflammation, can prevent joint damage and limit functional disability.
- Regular monitoring of disease activity and for drug toxicity is important.
- Screening and management of vascular risk factors and osteoporosis are necessary in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Patient education and support are crucial in management.