Research Activities March 2013, No. 391
AHRQ reviews highlight treatment options for rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis
News and Notes
Two updated research reviews from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program reinforce the current standards of care for drug therapies used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Limited evidence on oral and biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) therapies prevents firm conclusions on their effectiveness and risks for treating RA and on the superiority of one oral DMARD over another. For PsA, the new review found limited evidence supporting the efficacy of biologic DMARDs. However, evidence is insufficient to draw firm conclusions about the effectiveness of DMARDS or their impact on functional status, health-related quality of life, or tolerability. The new clinician and patient resources compare the latest research on RA and PsA treatments.
The summaries reinforce the current standards of care for drug therapies for both conditions. Findings indicate that oral DMARDs remain effective first-line treatments for RA, but biologic DMARDs are more effective in treating RA symptoms. For the treatment of PsA, evidence supports the general efficacy of both oral and biologic DMARDs. No conclusions can be reached about whether some DMARDs and treatment strategies are better than others for minimizing PsA joint damage and improving quality of life. New RA resources include a patient summary, clinician summary, activity, and faculty slide set, based on the review Drug Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis in Adults: An Update. New PsA resources include a patient summary and clinician summary based on the review Drug Therapy for Psoriatic Arthritis in Adults: Update of a 2007 Report. All summaries and reviews can be viewed on AHRQ’s Effective Health Program Web site at www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov.