Review Articles

A Quick and Painless Reminder: The Pharmacotherapy of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Primary Practice

Linda Brand, De Wet Wolmarans, Sarel J. Brand
South African Family Practice | Vol 60, No 2 : March/April| a4839 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v60i2.4839 | © 2019 | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2018 | Published: 07 June 2018

About the author(s)

Linda Brand, North West-University, South Africa
De Wet Wolmarans, North-West University, South Africa
Sarel J. Brand, North-West University, South Africa

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Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disorder, is characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints, synovial hyperplasia and bone erosion. These pathological features are promoted by a synovial microenvironment featuring B-cell and T-cell infiltrate, synovial fibroblasts and an intricate network of pro-inflammatory cellular messengers – prominent molecular role-players that represent critical targets in the pharmacotherapy of the disease. This review offers a brief overview of the etiopathology of rheumatoid arthritis while focussing on the practical aspects of methotrexate and glucocorticoid use that are of relevance for primary practice.

Keywords

rheumatoid arthritis; pharmacotherapy

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