You know how painful rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be, and finding the right treatment can take time. Some people find that a medication that used to work for them might become less effective. So it’s important to keep track of your progress and symptoms. That way, you will know when it may be time to consider changing treatments.
Setting treatment goals
The following are the general goals for RA treatment. Keep these in mind as you think about how well your treatment is working:
- Relieve joint pain
- Reduce inflammation
- Prevent or slow joint damage
- Improve ability to accomplish everyday tasks
Be mindful of your RA treatment’s effectiveness
It may help to think about how you have been feeling since your last discussion with your healthcare team. These questions can help get you started:
- How do you feel now? How does that compare with when you first started taking your current medication?
- How often do you experience RA joint pain? How does that compare with when you first started taking your current medication?
- Have you regained the ability to do everyday tasks (eg, button a shirt, turn a doorknob, climb stairs)?
- Are you experiencing any side effects that bother you?
Is it time for a change?
If you're not happy with the answers to these questions, or if you're just not sure, it may be time to discuss other treatment options with your healthcare team. It's up to you, with the help of your team, to find the treatment that is right for you, your condition and your schedule.
So take some time to think about your current RA treatment. If you would like to consider other treatment options, talk to your rheumatologist.