Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful and disabling autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks healthy cells in the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful and disabling autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks healthy cells in the joints. If left untreated, RA can cause inflammation that leads to destruction of the cartilage and bone in the joint. And while there are several FDA-approved treatments available, they don’t work for everyone. That’s where clinical trials come in.
For those living with RA, clinical trials may offer an opportunity to try new treatment options before they hit the market. They also help advance research and uncover breakthroughs for other diseases as well. Clinical trial participation is often coupled with close medical supervision from leading specialists—a benefit that many people with chronic illnesses find valuable on its own.
The two most common symptoms are pain and stiffness.
The two most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are pain and stiffness.
Pain is the first symptom that most people experience. It usually affects the joints symmetrically, on both sides of the body, which means that if you have pain in your right hand, you’ll also likely have pain in your left hand. You may also feel a burning sensation or pins-and-needles feeling in your hands and feet.
Stiffness can be described as a feeling of tightness in affected areas of the body. It’s often worse when you wake up and are moving around for the first time in a while. When you have rheumatoid arthritis, it takes longer for your joints to become loose once they’ve been still for a period of time (such as after sleeping). The stiffness may last anywhere from less than an hour to several hours a day. It tends to be more severe when weather conditions are damp or cold.
Conventional treatments for RA include disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologics, steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints and other tissues of the body. People with RA have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis and can be affected by gout. There are several different types of drugs used to treat RA, including:
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Researchers are learning more about RA all the time, which has led to a surge of clinical trials around the world.
What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a type of medical research study. It’s conducted to determine if new treatments or procedures are safe and effective in people. A lot of these studies seek to answer the question: What can we do better as doctors, or what should I do as a patient?
Why are clinical trials important?
Clinical trials are an important part of the development of better treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They give researchers the chance to test their theories and learn more about RA while giving patients access to possible new benefits. Even if you don’t want to participate in a trial, it’s helpful to stay informed on current research so you’ll know what’s available or coming soon.
What are the purposes of clinical trials?
The goal for every clinical trial is different, but they all have one thing in common: The researchers want to find out more about something related to medicine and health care. Clinical trials can be very general, studying large populations with well-known diseases like RA. Or they can be very specific, testing an experimental treatment on a small number of patients who have certain genetic markers that make them more likely to respond positively. Some aim only at gathering information about how people feel about their condition and its treatment options; those trials don’t involve any actual treatment at all.
If you have RA, you might consider enrolling in an RA clinical trial to help advance medical research.
Did you know there are clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis? If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you could benefit from learning about clinical trials and what they can offer. Here are some reasons why it might be a good idea to enroll in an RA clinical trial:
- You could get access the latest treatments that aren’t widely available yet. Clinical trials explore new drugs or treatments that aren’t sold in stores yet. Taking part in these studies allows patients to try these new options before they’re widely distributed. Many of these drugs help stop joint damage caused by the disease and its symptoms, making them especially valuable for those with advanced stages of RA.
- You’ll be helping others who have RA and those who will develop it in the future by contributing to medical research. As a participant in an RA clinical trial, you will not only be able to help yourself but also provide valuable information that doctors can use to advance treatment options now and in the years ahead. It’s quite possible that your involvement will one day lead to better outcomes for other people living with this disease—including family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers—and even strangers around the world who may develop RA someday.
- You’ll be monitored closely by medical professionals throughout your participation. A study coordinator is responsible for keeping track of your health during the trial…