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In 2017, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) looked into the advantages and disadvantages of baricitinib (trade name: Olumiant) for adults who have had treatment with several conventional DMARDs that weren’t effective enough. The manufacturer gave IQWiG one relevant study that provided preliminary answers to a number of questions. The researchers at IQWiG analyzed data from 294 patients. Of these, 170 had treatment with baricitinib and 124 had the standard treatment with adalimumab. All of the participants received treatment with methotrexate as well. The study lasted about one year. The following results apply to people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who have had treatment with several conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) that weren’t effective enough.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 27, 2017

In 2017, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) looked into the advantages and disadvantages of tofacitinib (trade name: Xeljanz) in adults who have had treatment with several conventional DMARDs that weren’t effective enough. The manufacturer gave IQWiG one relevant study which provides preliminary answers to a number of questions. The researchers at IQWiG analyzed data from 206 patients. Half of the participants had treatment with tofacitinib, the other half had treatment with the standard drug adalimumab. All of the participants received treatment with methotrexate as well. The study lasted about one year. The following results apply to people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who have had treatment with several conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) that weren’t effective enough.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 24, 2017

In 2017, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) looked into the advantages and disadvantages of baricitinib (trade name: Olumiant) in people with rheumatoid arthritis that is expected to quickly get worse. The manufacturer gave IQWiG one relevant study which provides preliminary answers to a number of questions. The researchers at IQWiG analyzed data from 396 patients. Of these, 243 had treatment with baricitinib and 153 had treatment with the biological drug adalimumab. All of the participants received methotrexate as well. The study lasted about one year. The following results apply to people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who have had treatment with methotrexate that was not effective enough on its own.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 27, 2017

In 2017, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany) looked into the advantages and disadvantages of tofacitinib (trade name: Xeljanz) in people with rheumatoid arthritis that is expected to quickly get worse. The manufacturer gave IQWiG one relevant study which provides preliminary answers to a number of questions. The researchers at IQWiG analyzed data from 157 patients. Half of the participants had treatment with tofacitinib, and the other half were given the biological drug adalimumab. All of the participants received methotrexate as well. The study lasted about one year. The following results apply to people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis who have had treatment with methotrexate that was not effective enough on its own.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 24, 2017

In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the joints are swollen, stiff and painful. Nonsteroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are often recommended to ease the pain and swelling in the joints. Paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) is another type of medication to relieve pain in RA.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 26, 2004

This review included three trials with a total of 318 patients. A statistically significant decrease in the number of tender and swollen joints was found for patients taking cyclosporine when compared to those taking placebo. Significant improvements in pain and function were also found for those patients taking cyclosporine. More side effects occurred in the cyclosporine group compared to the placebo group.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 27, 1998

Although its use can be limited by the incidence of serious harms, injectable gold has an important clinically and statistically significant benefit in the short term treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 20, 1997

Antimalarials have been used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for several decades. This review found four trials, with 300 patients receiving hydrochloroquine and 292 receiving placebo. A benefit was observed in the patients taking hydroxychloroquine compared to placebo. There was no difference between the two groups in terms of those who had to withdraw from trials due to side effects.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 23, 2000

The objective of this review was to evaluate the short‐term efficacy of auranofin for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis when compared to placebo. Our results show that auranofin appears to be efficacious in the short‐term treatment of patients with RA (6 months), and has a small but clinically and statistically significant benefit on the disease activity of these patients. Its effects on overall health status and radiological progression are not clear at this time, but would appear to be modest. Auranofin may be most appropriate for those patients with early and mild disease who are more likely to respond to less potent (and less toxic) therapies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 24, 2000

Sulfasalazine has become a common second line drug (DMARD) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 27, 1998

It can be difficult to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis early on in the disease. In the first few weeks and months, the symptoms are often mild and not always typical. But it's still important to try to diagnose and treat rheumatoid arthritis as soon as possible. It is thought that early treatment helps to stop the progression of the disease. Some of the non-specific symptoms include general weakness, exhaustion, tiredness and weight loss. Other early signs include a slight fever, as well as achy bones and muscles. But people might also experience more typical rheumatoid arthritis symptoms such as swollen joints. If you're concerned about non-specific symptoms, you can see a doctor. Tests specifically for rheumatoid arthritis will be recommended at the latest if three or more joints have been swollen for at least six weeks,the same joints are swollen on both sides of the body, and/oryour joints feel stiff for at least one hour each morning.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 11, 2016

This summary of a Cochrane review presents what we know from research about the effect of balance training on rheumatoid arthritis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: May 12, 2010

Corticosteroid drugs can relieve inflammation, and in high doses they have a dramatic effect on the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. They are used only temporarily, however, because of serious adverse effects during long‐term use. The review found that corticosteroids in low doses are very effective. They are more effective than usual anti‐arthritis medications (non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs). The risk of harms needs to be considered, however, especially the risk of fractures and infections.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 24, 2005

Ultrasound is one of the modalities often chosen by qualified health professionals for the symptomatic treatment of RA based on its anti‐inflammatory and analgesic effects. This review of two randomized trials (RCTs) showed that continuous ultrasound applied in water to the dorsal and palmar aspects of the hand increased grip strength as compared with placebo. This benefit was not evident with combined therapy (exercise, wax bath, faradic hand baths). Ultrasound also produced a borderline increase in wrist dorsal flexion, decreased morning stiffness, and reduced the number of swollen and painful joints. The conclusions are limited by few studies, small sample size and limitations in study methodology.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 22, 2002

The purpose was to examine the effectiveness of patient education interventions on health status (pain, functional disability, psychological well‐being and disease activity) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Patient education had a small beneficial effect at first follow‐up for disability, joint counts, patient global assessment, psychological status, and depression. At final follow‐up (3‐14 months) no evidence of significant benefits was found.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 22, 2003

Patient education programs, psychological therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy may help people with rheumatoid arthritis cope in everyday life. Different measures are often combined, such as relaxation techniques, stress management and strategies for expending strength and day-to-day planning.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 27, 2016

Ten studies examined the effects of working wrist splints, resting hand and wrist splints, and wearing special shoes/ insoles in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Although there is no evidence that wearing resting wrist and hand splints changed pain, grip strength, or number of swollen joints, participants who wore these splints for two months preferred to wear them, and also preferred padded splints. One study provided evidence that wearing extra‐depth shoes for two months resulted in significant benefits of less pain on walking and stair climbing. Extra‐depth shoes with semi‐rigid insoles provided better pain relief than extra‐depth shoes alone.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 23, 2001

‐ there was not enough information in the included study to tell whether wearing a hand splint and performing exercises (continuous passive motion) after surgery improves hand function, relieves pain, or corrects deformity.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 23, 2008

Infliximab in combination with methotrexate is an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis( RA).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 22, 2002

This summary of a Cochrane review presents what we know from research about the safety of using pain‐relieving drugs in people with rheumatoid arthritis who also have either heart or kidney disease, or both.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 5, 2011

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