DMARD Taper-to-Discontinuation Approach Increases Flare Risk

A study called ARCTIC REWIND found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in remission who tapered or stopped their medication experienced more disease flares compared to those who stayed on stable doses. Patients taking only csDMARDs had higher flare rates than those on TNF inhibitors, but the risk was still elevated in both groups. The study indicated that tapering medication may be an option for some patients in remission, but an individualized approach is necessary. Rheumatologists typically taper medication at a slower rate than in the study and do not discontinue it entirely. Further research is needed to determine which patients would benefit from tapering csDMARDs.

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