Because RA can worsen over time, it's important to discuss your treatment options with a rheumatologist as soon as you are diagnosed, and appropriately manage your disease. While there is no cure, there are 3 types of RA treatments that may relieve RA symptoms: pain managers, disease modifiers, and biologics.
Many doctors recognize the benefits of treating people with moderately to severely active RA as early and aggressively as possible in appropriate patients. Doing so may help stop further joint damage, even in people who have had a diagnosis of RA for many years. However, it's important to keep in mind that biologics are medicines that affect your immune system, and can cause serious side effects. Talk to your doctor to find out if treatment with biologics is right for you.
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Only your doctor can recommend a course of treatment after checking your health condition. REMICADE® (infliximab) can cause serious side effects such as lowering your ability to fight infections. Some patients, especially those 65 years and older, have had serious infections caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria that have spread throughout the body, including tuberculosis (TB) and histoplasmosis. Some of these infections have been fatal. Your doctor should monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with REMICADE®.
Unusual cancers have been reported in children and teenage patients taking TNF-blocker medicines. Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma, a rare form of fatal lymphoma, has occurred mostly in teenage or young adult males with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis who were taking REMICADE® and azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine. For children and adults taking TNF blockers, including REMICADE®, the chances of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase.
You should discuss any concerns about your health and medical care with your doctor.
What should I tell my doctor before I take REMICADE®?
You should let your doctor know if you have or ever had any of the following:
Also tell your doctor if you:
What should I watch for and talk to my doctor about before or while taking REMICADE®?
The following serious (sometimes fatal) side effects have been reported in people taking REMICADE®.
You should tell your doctor right away if you have any of the signs listed below:
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.