Changing rheumatoid arthritis medication stop time may help reduce flare-ups

Orthopedics Today—January 6, 2012

Timing anti-tumor necrosis factor medications in rheumatoid arthritis patients appropriately so the stop times coincide with the half-life of the medications may help reduce flare-ups of the disease, according to a recent study from Hospital for Special Surgery.

Researchers reviewed the charts of 194 total knee replacement patients (mean age 67.7 years; 86.6% female) identified as having rheumatoid arthritis through ICD-9 codes or self-report between June 2007 and May 2010, analyzing flare at 1 month postoperatively and adverse events at 6 months postoperatively, including surgical site infection, deep venous thrombosis, infection, reoperation, pneumonia and pulmonary embolus, according to the abstract.

“We need to do more studies to see if more pharmacologically based timing of when you hold these medications — maybe tie it more to their half-life — might potentially decrease rates of postoperative flares,” Lisa Mandl, MD, MPH, lead author and rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery, stated in a press release.

This story originally appeared at


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