The condition and the treatments

Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body's immune system attacking healthy joints. The affected joints are painful, swollen and stiff, and over time become damaged and stop working properly.

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis includes a group of drugs called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These drugs improve symptoms and slow down joint damage. However, the conventional 'non-biological' type of DMARDs are not suitable for everyone, and some people's rheumatoid arthritis does not respond well to them.

Adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, certolizumab pegol, golimumab, tocilizumab and abatacept are 'biological' DMARDs. They reduce inflammation in the body so that swelling of the joints is reduced and further damage may be prevented.

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more.

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