Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Decisions Should Reflect the Patient’s Values

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Decisions Should Reflect the Patient’s Values

Rheumatoid arthritis treatments present several options for patients.

Treat-to-target (T2T) is a phrase many arthritis patients may hear during a routine visit to the rheumatologist. The words themselves are simple, but given the number of treatment options now available, the approach to helping patients meet specific treatment goals can become complicated.

Over the past couple of decades, the growing availability of biologic and non-biologic disease modifying drugs (DMARDs) opened the door to a wide range of treatments for people living with autoimmune forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). For someone living with RA, it’s vital to understand how T2T works and, perhaps more importantly, to empower yourself to make decisions about your treatment strategy to get your chronic illness under control.

What Is Treat-to-Target?

The gold standard of RA treatment is treating to target, a proactive strategy in which physicians and patients work together to set specific goals for a patient’s response to drug therapy. The goal or “target” of RA treatment is remission or low disease activity. For the person living with RA, it means regularly asking, “Is what I’m taking working to keep my RA symptoms as well-controlled as possible?” To answer that question with confidence, you need some good signals that a target is not being met. T2T requires asking yourself and then discussing with your doctor what signals tell you it’s time to change or escalate care.

Read on: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Decisions Should Reflect the Patient’s Values | Everyday Health

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