Combining Meds Is Best
A combination of therapies for the relief of rheumatoidarthritis (RA) was found to have a greater effect than eithertherapy alone, as reported in the January 2006 issue ofArthritis & Rheumatism. A 2-year study involved 539 patientswho had had active RA for <3 years.
The patients (mean age 52) were divided into 3 groups:one group received methotrexate; another group receivedinjections of adalimumab; and the third group received bothtreatments. All groups were evaluated at 6, 12, and 24months.
After 1 year, 62% of those on combination therapy had a50% improvement in symptoms, compared with 41% of theadalimumab group and 46% of the methotrexate group. At 2years, nearly half of the patients on combination therapyexhibited major clinical remission—about twice as many aseither of the other groups.