The need for aggressive therapy of rheumatoid arthritis

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1993 Feb;19(1):153-61.


We are on the threshold of a new era in the treatment of RA if we learn from the experience of the past and utilize new techniques and therapeutic modalities that the future will bring. New strategies and treatment of RA in the future will need to include earlier recognition of progressive disease, earlier interventions, new preparations for use in therapeutic armamentarium, combinations of agents, and monitoring of long-term outcomes to assess results over 5 to 10 years. There is always concern about new therapies and strategies. As noted by Huskisson, however, "In the absence of knowledge about the cause of disease and the mode of action of the drugs, the only way forward is by clinical trials of different preparations. With trial, there is always the risk of error." Our greatest error, however, will be if we ignore lessons from the past, fail to control the inflammatory process early, and continue to spend years writing "doing well" in the charts of patients who become progressively disabled before our eyes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents