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By Wayne Kuznar More than 25% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are started on methotrexate (Trexall, Rheumatrex) alone achieve clinical remission at week 24, and the remission is durable out to 2 years, said James R. O’Dell, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine, Divi­sion of Rheuma­tology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, at the 2011 meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.
An American College of Rheu­matology (ACR) working group has reported the 2012 ACR updates to the 2008 ACR recommendations on the use of disease-modifying anti­rheu­matic drugs (DMARDs) and biologic agents in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA; Singh JA, et al. Arthritis Care Res. 2012;64:625-639).
The number of total hip replacement (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) surgeries has declined among patients with a primary diagnosis of rheumatoid arth­ritis (RA) since the introduction of biologic agents.
By Sy Schlager, MD, PhD The development of biomarkers as tools for the measurement of disease activity to predict disease progression and response to certain therapies and the investigation of new classes of agents for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are 2 major advances in the management of patients with RA.
By Phoebe Starr

Similar to adults, early aggressive treatment with a biologic therapy in children with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is beneficial in achieving remission, as demonstrated in the double-blind, randomized Trial of Early Aggressive Therapy in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthri­tis (TREAT in JIA), which is one of the few studies to focus on children with JIA.

By Phoebe Starr An excellent response to etanercept (Enbrel) in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) was significantly associated with younger age and less disability at disease onset, as well as less use of antirheumatic drugs before initiating etanercept.
By Sy Schlager, MD, PhD Although completely misunderstood and often maligned, fibromyalgia (FM) is a functional somatic syndrome estimated to affect 2% to 4% of the population, with a female to male incidence ratio of approximately 4:1.
Systemic glucocorticoid use may increase the risk for suicidal behavior and neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, mania, delirium, and panic disorder, according to a large study from the United Kingdom that included data from 1990 through 2008 (Fardet L, et al. Am J Psychiatry. 2012; 169:491-497). The study included data from almost 372,700 adult patients in a primary care settin
By Phoebe Starr After achieving low disease activity (LDA) while receiving full-dose induction etanercept (Enbrel) therapy at 36 weeks, patients with moderately active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be maintained on half-dose etanercept instead of full-dose etanercept for a further 52 weeks...
By Sy Schlager, MD, PhD

Belimumab (Benlysta) has recently been approved in the United States for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), with a specific indication for use in adult patients with active, autoantibody-positive disease who are currently receiving standard therapies. However, the optimal use of this agent in SLE has not been well defined.

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