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How to Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis Complications

HealthCentral featured HSS rheumatologist Lindsay S. Lally, MD, in an article about managing complications from rheumatoid arthritis.

She explained that physicians typically prefer to start treatment in patients early, but some medications could lower or suppress the immune system.

"The immune system has been overactive, and then medications present us with a host of potential related side effects. Yes, these drugs can be life-changing in a good way, but side effects require appropriate use and close monitoring. The biggest concern is infection, so we take special care to try and prevent that," said Dr. Lally.

"Our rationale for treating is twofold. We want patients to feel better, for pain and stiffness to go away, and we want to prevent joint damage. Good news: Routinely-used therapies effectively manage pain and inflammation, and are disease-modifying at the joint level, preventing damage and disability," she added.

Read the full article at healthcentral.com.