Are biologic agents or nonbiologic DMARDs more effective in improving physical function in rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

A study by Callhoff et al found that biologic agents were significantly more effective than nonbiologic treatments in improving physical function in RA. In the investigation, a meta-analysis of 35 studies that included 8733 treated patients with RA and 4664 controls. More than 50% of patients treated with biologics experienced clinically relevant improvement. Etanercept and rituximab were the most effective treatments, both in patients who had never before taken antirheumatic drugs and in those who had shown an inadequate response to them. [69]


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