Rheumatoid arthritis: reading & resources
The webinar forms part of our health professional educational program – Rheumatoid arthritis: getting the facts straight about methotrexate. Co-designed by NPS MedicineWise and the Australian Rheumatology Association, the program aims to improve the quality of life for people with rheumatoid arthritis through early investigation, diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Webinar slide deck
The webinar presents a clinical scenario in case-study format to help facilitate the discussion and prompt participants to reflect on their individual practice and counselling of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Medicinewise News: Shared care approaches to rheumatoid arthritis
The use of DMARDs, with methotrexate as the backbone of the treatment, has revolutionised rheumatoid arthritis management, but there is still room to maximise the benefit.
Australian Prescriber: Managing the drug treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
Patients with suspected rheumatoid arthritis should be referred promptly. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are often used in combination and can have serious adverse effects. Their safe use requires ongoing monitoring.
BMJ: Diagnosis and early management of inflammatory arthritis
Early diagnosis and treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS) and corticosteroids improves function and symptomatic and radiographic outcomes. Prescription and monitoring of DMARDs can be shared between specialists and non-specialists if pathways and communication are clear. Specialists are best placed to guide changes in DMARDS or corticosteroid treatment.
MJA: Nocebo effects in practice – methotrexate myths and misconceptions
There are several methotrexate 'myths' that may be believed by patients and health professionals, and propagated through word of mouth, information in print or on the internet. Providing patients with accurate information will help overcome obstacles to the use of an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
Shared care and prescribing
Notes for prescribers of low-dose once-weekly methotrexate (Australian Rheumatology Association and Arthritis Australia)
Low-dose once-weekly methotrexate is the 'gold standard' disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) to treat rheumatoid arthritis, other inflammatory arthritis and other autoimmune conditions.
MTX Shared care letter
Structured collaboration between patients, GPs, rheumatologists and other healthcare professionals can support an earlier start to treatment, better adherence and better outcomes. We provide an example of a shared care referral letter. Reproduced with permission.
For your patients
Rheumatoid arthritis roadmap
This roadmap helps you navigate life with rheumatoid arthritis, from diagnosis to finding treatment that works for you.
Patient information on methotrexate (Australian Rheumatology Association and Arthritis Australia)
Includes important information about how you should take methotrexate, possible side effects, tests and monitoring and other precautions when taking methotrexate.
Patient information on self-injecting low-dose methotrexate for the treatment of arthritis (Australian Rheumatology Association and Arthritis Australia)
For people who have been recommended injections of methotrexate as a treatment for arthritis. Includes information about how patients and their family, friends or carers can safely inject methotrexate, the steps to follow and the equipment needed.
How to give yourself an injection of methotrexate (video)
Low-dose once-weekly methotrexate via a subcutaneous injection can be more effective and/or have fewer side effects than a once-a-week tablet.
NPS MedicineWise: Patient action plan
An interactive tool that supports discussions between health professionals and patients starting low-dose once-weekly methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis.
Keep track of your medicines and access important health info anytime and anywhere. The MedicineWise app gives you access to fact sheets and videos about managing medicines if you have rheumatoid arthritis and are taking low-dose methotrexate. You can receive notifications via the app to promote the use of folic acid and the value of flu vaccinations and annual skin checks. The app allows you to set dose reminders and record tests, measurements, allergies and reactions.
Arthritis Australia's myRA website provides information and support to help people with rheumatoid arthritis live a better life with RA.