Diagnoses & Conditions

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Understanding RA

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that mostly affects joints. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system malfunctions and attacks and causes damage to a part of the body. In RA, tissue in the joints is attacked, causing pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of joint function. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis and is classified as one of the most disabling types of arthritis.

Symptoms of RA

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling and decreased movement of the joints. Small joints in the hands and feet are most commonly affected. RA can sometimes affect organs, such as eyes, skin or lungs.

Diagnosing RA

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is diagnosed by reviewing symptoms, conducting a physical examination, and performing X-rays and blood tests. Abnormal blood tests commonly seen in RA include anemia (low red blood cell count), rheumatoid factor, antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP) or elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).

Treatment of RA

FDA-approved drugs commonly prescribed to reduce signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include infliximab (e.g., Inflectra®, Remicade®) and golimumab (Simponi Aria®), administered into the blood stream intravenously. Also FDA-approved, golimumab (Simponi®) is administered under the skin subcutaneously.



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