127446 - Rheumatoid Arthritis: Getting the facts straight about methotrexate - Webinar Recording - April 2018
- : Online
Relevance to General Practice
Optimal outcomes for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) requires good communication and collaboration between the specialist and GP.
There is evidence for a “window of opportunity” – as little as three months – where medicines are both more effective and have a long term effect on disease, independent of subsequent treatment. Delays in the diagnosis of RA are still common. Patients with suspected RA need to identified and referred for urgent assessment in a timely manner.
Although guidelines recommend methotrexate as the drug of choice in the treatment of RA, the medicine is much maligned by patients with respect to potential toxicity and other misconceptions about its use. All healthcare providers should provide consistent messaging to patients on the key role of methotrexate.
Each health professional should also be clear about their role in the prescribing and monitoring of methotrexate, managing pain, associated risks and lifestyle factors for patients with RA.
- Describe the importance of an integrated approach in optimising the early initiation and persistence of low-dose methotrexate used for RA.
- Determine the urgency of any referral based on patient presenting clinical features, key test results, prognostic features and specialist advice if required.
- Explain to patients the role of low-dose methotrexate in RA and dispel common myths about methotrexate therapy.
- Outline how health professionals can agree on a shared care plan to monitor DMARD use and manage patient CVD associated risk and lifestyle factors.
- Describe the role of corticosteroids in the management of rheumatoid arthritis including recommended dosage and strategies which limit any drug adverse effects.