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ADVANCED TREATMENT IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS. IS IT POSSIBLE TO TAPER THE BIOLOGICAL TREATMENT?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease, leading to synovial hypertrophy and adjacent bone and cartilage destruction. The combined use of biological agents and methotrexate (MTX) has revolutionised the treatment of RA producing significant improvements in clinical, radiographic and functional outcomes. The results of clinical study and experience of the specialities of rheumatology in clinical statement showed the long treatment may be associated with side effects, in addition biological treatment means high cost. The next goal should be remission without the use of biological agents. That’s why new treatment in RA means the tapering or even stopping the biological treatment in patients with RA who reached remission. In association with the new recommendation EULAR in 2013 there are many studies which showed the possibility of tapering or discontinuing the biological therapy in patients in sustained remission.
Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, biological therapy, treatment optimization