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Combination therapy may be best treatment for RA

February 19, 2013

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects around 1.5 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and many of them manage the pain and swelling caused by the condition with medication. New research says slight changes to treatment could make a big difference. Scientists from Germany's Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin believe that combining two common drugs, Methotrexate and Tofacitinib, may offer better results than individual medication.

To test their hypothesis, researchers looked at nearly 400 RA patients over the course of six months. All of the subjects were treated with a combination of the two medications, and by the end of the study, the team found that more than half of the participants experienced improved symptoms. While scientists still need to perform more long-term studies, researchers say that the results are a breakthrough when it comes to RA treatment.

Medication is not the only way for RA patients to reduce the pain caused by the condition. A mature adult with the condition can also makes changes to their senior living habits to help manage the disease. Regular physical activity has proven to be particularly effective, according to the Mayo Clinic. Gentle exercises, such as swimming or water aerobics, are best because they reduce pressure on joints while strengthening the muscles around them and relieving symptoms.