How long do RA patients stay on methotrexate?
Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis have stayed on this drug for 20 years or more.
When should you take methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis?
Current guidelines recommend initially treating early RA (ie, <6 months) and established RA with DMARDs. Although MTX is the initial drug of choice for most patients with RA, this medication is contraindicated for some individuals (Table 1).
Is methotrexate worth the risk?
Methotrexate is one of the most effective and widely used medications for treating inflammatory types of arthritis. It’s also one of the safest arthritis drugs, despite a common misconception among many patients that methotrexate is highly toxic.
Can RA go into remission forever?
Rheumatoid arthritis is generally considered a chronic, lifelong condition. However, new treatments sometimes lead to dramatic improvements in the signs and symptoms of the condition. They can even prevent joint damage and lead to remission. Doctors and people living with RA may both have remission as a goal.
What are the long term side effects of methotrexate?
If you are using methotrexate long term, a liver biopsy is usually recommended. Methotrexate use has rarely caused serious (sometimes fatal) side effects, such as lung problems, lung infections (Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia), skin reactions, diarrhea, and mouth sores (ulcerative stomatitis).
How many years does RA shorten your life?
RA can shorten your life expectancy by an average of 10 years compared to people who don’t have the disease. But people with RA are living longer than ever before. Though the disease may still affect life expectancy, it doesn’t have as much impact as it did in the past.
Is rheumatoid arthritis a death sentence?
RA is a chronic condition with no known cure. People do not die from it, but RA can lead to complications that can be life-threatening. A person with RA may have a significantly reduced life expectancy, but the condition affects each person differently, and it is difficult to predict the outlook.