Journal of pain & palliative care pharmacotherapy | 17 Oct 2014
CG Shinde, MP Venkatesh, TM Kumar and HG Shivakumar
ABSTRACT Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful, debilitating disease characterized by inflammation of the joints, with the proliferation of the synovium and the progressive erosion of cartilage and bone. The treatment of RA is still unsatisfactory, but a number of powerful disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs have become available, such as methotrexate (MTX). Even in the current era of biological targeted therapies, MTX remains the initial preferred antirheumatic drug and is considered to be the gold standard for treatment of RA. The combination of its perceived efficacy, acceptable safety profile, and low cost, as well as decades of clinical experience, makes MTX the cornerstone of treatment for RA and the anchor drug in combination with various biological agents. In this review, the authors aim to summarize the research done in the field of drug delivery systems of MTX according to its routes of administration for treatment of RA. The last part of the review addresses combination therapy with MTX and future direction in the drug delivery of MTX. This review also provides the reader with a general overview of RA and its therapeutic strategies with respect of MTX, which may bring uniformity in medical practice for effective management of RA.
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