Medicine Matters—February 9, 2018
HSS rheumatologist Vivian P. Bykerk, BSc, MD, FRCPC, explained factors to consider before tapering treatment in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Medicine Matters reported.
"My overall message is to proceed with caution and to do it strategically," said Dr. Bykerk. In general, she would typically advise against tapering with the exception of steroids.
According to the article, a recent study found that discontinuing tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor treatment was associated with an increased risk of relapse.
However, Dr. Bykerk noted that "people who have sustained and [have] really good disease control are most likely to be successful".
Additionally, she stressed the importance of physicians monitoring their patients undergoing treatment tapering, and that patients should report any concerns.
"I think that treatment tapering really goes hand-in-hand with early diagnosis, modifying the immune response, and achieving good control really quickly," she concluded.
Read the full article at rheumatology.medicinematters.com