Immediate treatment

If treatment is not taken early and quickly you can end up with serious joint damage.

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Immediate Treatment

Suzie Edward May
Member, Arthritis Australia National Consumer Reference Group (rheumatoid arthritis)
Author of ‘Arthritis, pregnancy and the path to parenthood’

Getting onto treatment early and not delaying is really important and that can be very scary to jump into that unknown and to start taking medication which has such a long list of side effects that it’s quite frightening. You almost just don’t want to read them because it’s very frightening. But the reality with this disease is that if you don’t treat it early then you will end up with irreversible joint damage so you have to take it seriously very, very quickly.

Assoc. Professor Peter Youssef
Rheumatologist, Royal Prince Alfred Institute of Rheumatology and Orthopaedics, Sydney
Chair – Arthritis Australia Scientific Advisory Committee

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long term disease that will result in joint damage over time and these medications control the disease while the patients are using the drugs. Stopping the drugs will almost certainly result in a flare in the great majority of patients. So it is really important that patients use their drugs and that they are compliant with therapy to protect their joints, to maintain their function, keep them at work and to improve their overall life expectancy, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Suzie Edward May
Member, Arthritis Australia National Consumer Reference Group (rheumatoid arthritis)
Author of ‘Arthritis, pregnancy and the path to parenthood’

It is difficult. We’re asking people to put their faith in a rheumatologist, in their GP, in a medical team really before they’ve got their head around what this means. We’re asking people to say, “Yes! Start taking this medication, start taking these drugs,” which have all sorts of side effects but we’re saying you need to do this before you’ve even dealt with what this means emotionally and that’s a really big leap. But it’s important to take that leap.

Ray Paulley
Retired teacher, cycling enthusiast
Psoriatic Arthritis

And I started off on various medications which certainly assisted my condition but they didn’t do my organs a lot of good. And my rheumatologist said to me, “Ray, as soon as we can, we’ll get you onto what’s called”, I think he termed it, “a biological”, and that is what I ended up on and what do you know, it fixed it!

 

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