Early start and stop of biologics: has the time come?

BMC Med. 2014 Feb 6;12:25. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-12-25.

Abstract

Despite considerable advances in the management of rheumatoid arthritis, results are still not satisfactory for all patients. The treatment goal in rheumatoid arthritis is remission, and there currently are numerous conventional and biological medications available to reach this aim. There are also different treatment strategies but with only limited comparative evidence about their efficacies. More patients now achieve remission while on treatment, but it remains elusive in the majority of patients. Treatment-free remission, the ultimate goal of therapy, is only achieved in very few patients; even when this happens, it is most likely due to the natural course of the disease rather than to any specific therapies. Modern treatment is based on the initiation of aggressive therapy as soon as the diagnosis is established, and on modifying or intensifying therapy guided by frequent assessment of disease activity. In this commentary we will discuss the current treatment paradigm as well as the possibility of an induction-maintenance regimen with biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in early rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antirheumatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Biological Products / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Rheumatic Fever / diagnosis*
  • Rheumatic Fever / drug therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Biological Products