Information for the public

Adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab, all with methotrexate, are available on the NHS. They are possible treatments for active rheumatoid arthritis in adults, if their disease:

  • has not responded to 2 or more conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and
  • is moderate.

Adalimumab and etanercept can be used alone if you cannot have methotrexate.

Treatment should be stopped after 6 months if it is not working well enough.

Abatacept with methotrexate is not normally available on the NHS for treating moderate active rheumatoid arthritis in adults when 1 or more DMARDs have not worked well enough. Your doctor should talk with you about other treatment options. If you are already having it, you should be able to continue until you and your doctor decide when best to stop.

Is this treatment right for me?

Your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Questions to think about

  • How well does it work compared with other treatments?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • How will the treatment affect my day-to-day life?
  • What happens if the treatment does not work?
  • What happens if I do not want to have treatment? Are there other treatments available?

Information and support

The NHS website may be a good place to find out more.

This organisation can give you advice and support: National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, 0800 298 7650

You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-4180-3

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