This is ReachMD. Welcome to this special series, Rheumatoid Arthritis: Addressing Unmet Needs, sponsored by Lilly.
On this episode, titled “Paradigm Shifts in RA Managment”, we will hear from Dr. Farhan Tahir, rheumatologist from Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
Dr. Farhan Tahir:
Today our topic of discussion is: How are we going to practice rheumatoid arthritis treatment in this new biologic era? Where previously we used to wait and see how patients are doing and make treatment changes. But with the advent of new biologic therapies and aggressive treatments we can change the course of the disease much effectively. So, you have to move from the previous process of first “do no harm to the patient,” to “I must control your rheumatoid arthritis,” because the best way to change the course of the disease is to treat it early on before it is too late. An earlier-the-better technique or paradigm of treatment is better because clinical studies have shown that if you diagnose the patient in a timely manner, and treat them within 15 to about 20 weeks of their diagnosis, their synovial tissue in the joints is much more effective to the treatment. Just take the responsiveness of your body to the medicine is much more easier and effective when you treat them early on rather than when you give, wait for several months or years, and then we are turning to a much more difficult situation. So, lower disease activity if you make that happen early on it will lead to less progression of disease, reduction in joint damage. So, the best time to strike rheumatoid arthritis is between 15 to 20 weeks of diagnosis and onset of symptoms. Inflammation which can linger without, unnoticed, can lead to joint damage much quicker.
Many rheumatoid arthritis patients have problems with fatigue, they have pain, that leads to depression and poor quality of life, relationship difficulties, loss of job, many of them. So, if you treat them early on, their chances of getting off of treatment is much higher than if you never treat them.
The proceeding program was sponsored by Lilly. To revisit any part of this discussion and to access other episodes in this series, visit ReachMD.com/addressingRA. Thank you for listening.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis: Addressing Unmet Needs is sponsored by Lilly. Content for this a non-certified educational series is produced and controlled by ReachMD. This series is intended for healthcare professionals only.