Rheumatoid arthritis

Deirdre Engler*, Phumzile Prudence Skosana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


© Medpharm. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that does not only affect the small joints, but also presents with extra-articular manifestations e.g. anaemia, cardiovascular diseases, depression etc., leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Pharmacists, as part of the healthcare team, should take cognisance of this chronic, debilitating condition and keep up to date with the latest treatment strategies. Early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is imperative and treatment should be individualised and appropriate as it improves the prognosis. The 2013 South African algorithm for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis recommends the use of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic medicine as first-line therapy. The choice of treatment depends on the side-effect profile, patient preference for route of administration, disease characteristics, and cost. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis but articular damage can be prevented or at least delayed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalSA Pharmaceutical Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptides
  • Autoimmune
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
  • Extra articular manifestations
  • Human leucocyte antigen
  • Rheumatoid arthritis


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