Change it up. That’s the gist of study reported in Arthritis Research and Therapy this week, which points to evidence that major therapy changes (MTC) positively impacted the outcomes of U.S. veterans with moderate to high rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Treatment shifts focused on initiating or restarting a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) or prednisone, a DMARD or a prednisone dose increase of at least 25%, or two or more intra-articular corticosteroid injections, according to the published study.
Major changes in therapy currently occur in less than half of all Veterans with RA listed in the VARA registry, according to Brian Sauer, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City.
One of the biggest barriers to changes in treatments plans is the documentation used to categorize and track prior treatment methods. With better tracking mechanisms and new-found evidence that changes in MTC have positive outcomes in veterans with moderate to high RA, improved treatment recommendations should follow, according to researchers.
The study made no mention of what medications produced an improvement, according to Pain Medicine News.
Editor’s Note: See the full report in Pain Medicine News and related commentary on Arthritis in the military entitled “Arthritis can hit troops and vets hard. Here’s how advocates want to respond.”
Lead photo courtesy of Military Times