A decade ago no one was talking about tapering medications in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), so it says a lot about how far we’ve come, the experts say. Based on a number of clinical trials, there are many RA patients taking a biologic plus methotrexate who could stop at least one of those medicines and do well. These are patients who have no swollen tender joints or active disease. The experts say they typically taper off drugs slowly in different orders depending on how the patient is tolerating the medications and the cost of treatment; for example, they try spacing out biologics from once weekly to every two or three weeks until patients find their “sweet spot” where they can maintain the dosing schedule without an increase in symptoms. No patient should attempt to withdraw or taper their RA medication on their own without talking to a doctor.
- News & Features