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Pharmacologic Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Srivastava, Sneha Baxi; Fluegel, Nicole; Mansukhani, Rupal Patel

doi: 10.1097/NOR.0000000000000610
Pharmacology
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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive, autoimmune inflammatory disease of the joints, which can result in permanent cartilage and bone damage. Although the exact cause of RA is unknown, there are many risk factors that have been associated with RA. When RA occurs, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy synovial and connective tissue. Available treatment options work to reduce inflammation or slow the disease progression. The American College of Rheumatology published guidelines for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in 2015, with an update expected in late 2019/early 2020. Nonpharmacologic therapy for patients with RA includes rest, occupational and physical therapy, and weight reduction and use of assistive devices, as necessary. Pharmacologic options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, antitumor necrosis factor agents, and interleukin receptor antagonists.

Sneha Baxi Srivastava, PharmD, BCACP, CDE, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL.

Nicole Fluegel, PharmD, Internal Medicine Pharmacy Resident, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, NJ.

Rupal Patel Mansukhani, PharmD, FAPhA, NCTTP, Clinical Associate Professor, Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Atlantic Health System, Morristown, NJ.

Correspondence: Sneha Baxi Srivastava, PharmD, BCACP, CDE, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Rd, North Chicago, IL 60064 (sneha.srivastava@rosalindfranklin.edu).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2019 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses