The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy of a new formulation of cyclosporin-A (CyA) and sulfasalazine (SASP) combination treatment in preventing disability and reducing inflammatory disease activity in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis, as well as to assess the tolerability, safety, and suitability for long-term treatment. Forty five patients with early, active rheumatoid arthritis, (RA) were treated with CyA and SASP combination therapy for 12 months. The patients were evaluated by disease activity and radiologic measurements. The combined CyA and SASP therapy seems to be effective. Disease activity parameters improved within 3 months. The individual treatment response rate according to EULAR response criteria was 78% after a one year treatment period. Five patients were withdrawn due to gastrointestinal side effect and two patients because of lack of efficacy. CyA and SASP combination treatment seems to be effective in early severe RA, and with careful monitoring, side effects can be kept under control.