Segment 5 - DMARDs and Methotrexate in RA Treatment

Dr Fendrick opened the conversation with the commonly prescribed DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs). But the group focused particularly on methotrexate, one of the most commonly prescribed.

Dr Fendrick opened the conversation with the commonly prescribed DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs). But the group focused particularly on methotrexate, one of the most commonly prescribed.

Dr O’Dell said that methotrexate is the foundation of many RA treatments, despite some side effects that come with the medication. Usually there is a reason why a methotrexate might not be prescribed. While advertisements can raise patient awareness about methotrexate or other treatments, providers must still be conscious of patient education and about the appropriate use of medications. Selecting appropriate medications is also important in making value-based decisions.

Dr Fendrick asked the panelists if they would feel the same about using methotrexate if all DMARDs cost the same. They agreed.

“It’s a drug we’ve had the longest experience with,” said Dr Ruderman. “Many people will respond to methotrexate alone. Most importantly though, with just about every other drug we use with the exception of the few newer biological agents that may work just as well on their own, almost every other drug we use works better in combination with methotrexate.”