2012 Brazilian Society of Rheumatology Consensus for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

OBJECTIVE: To elaborate recommendations for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Brazil. METHOD: Literature review with articles' selection based on evidence and the expert opinion of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Committee of the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: 1) The therapeutic decision should be shared with the patient; 2) immediately after the diagnosis, a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) should be prescribed, and the treatment adjusted to achieve remission; 3) treatment should be conducted by a rheumatologist; 4) the initial treatment includes synthetic DMARDs; 5) methotrexate is the drug of choice; 6) patients who fail to respond after two schedules of synthetic DMARDs should be assessed for the use of biologic DMARDs; 7) exceptionally, biologic DMARDs can be considered earlier; 8) anti-TNF agents are preferentially recommended as the initial biologic therapy; 9) after therapeutic failure of a first biologic DMARD, other biologics can be used; 10) cyclophosphamide and azathioprine can be used in severe extra-articular manifestations; 11) oral corticoid is recommended at low doses and for short periods of time; 12) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should always be prescribed in association with a DMARD; 13) clinical assessments should be performed on a monthly basis at the beginning of treatment; 14) physical therapy, rehabilitation, and occupational therapy are indicated; 15) surgical treatment is recommended to correct sequelae; 16) alternative therapy does not replace traditional therapy; 17) family planning is recommended; 18) the active search and management of comorbidities are recommended; 19) the patient's vaccination status should be recorded and updated; 20) endemic-epidemic transmissible diseases should be investigated and treated

rheumatoid arthritis; therapy; Brazil; antirheumatic agents; consensus

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