Are Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms Well Controlled?
It is important to know how well your rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment is working.Your
doctor tracks your RA treatment in several ways. These include checking to see how
many of your joints are swollen or tender and looking at results from lab tests
and X-rays. Be sure to keep all appointments that help your doctor track how well
your treatment is working.
About rheumatoid arthritis: how inflammation goes wrong
Inflammation is a normal reaction of the immune system—the body's defense
system. During normal inflammation, immune cells release chemicals into tissues
in an attempt to rid the body of harmful substances such as bacteria or viruses.
In RA, the immune system triggers inflammation for unknown reasons. Instead of attempting
to rid the body of harmful substances, the immune cells invade healthy joints. The
cells then release chemicals that start a cycle of inflammation. Once turned on,
the inflammation in RA does not usually turn off by itself.
Disease activity and control: Things you need to know about RA
In RA, disease activity refers to the effects that inflammation has on your joints. Inflammation causes the pain, stiffness, and swelling you feel in your joints, and it can lead to joint damage. Control refers to reducing the signs and symptoms of RA with low disease activity as goal.
Disease activity can vary. At times it may be low. In between, there may be periods
when RA gets worse. Flares are periods of high disease activity and increased symptoms.
The importance of rheumatoid arthritis control
As long as active disease is present, joint damage may occur. If RA is highly active
for a while, the damage can be more severe. However, joint damage can occur even
during times of low disease activity. Joint damage cannot be reversed with medication.
Based on research studies, experts recommend a "tight control" approach to RA. Tight
control means getting disease activity as low as possible as quickly as possible,
and keeping it low. Research shows that tight control can slow the progression of
RA and help reduce damage to joints.
Is CIMZIA right for you?
Are you considering a change in RA treatment, or has your doctor suggested a change?
Perhaps your current treatment is not controlling your RA symptoms. Or, RA is making
it difficult for you to do the things you need to do or want to do.
If the time is right for you to change RA treatment, ask your doctor if CIMZIA is
right for you.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Progression »