Question: What are disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and how are they used to treat rheumatoid arthritis?
Answer: DMARDs are disease modifying antirheumatic drugs. These are medications that are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of inflammatory arthritis. They've been around for a long time and can be very effective in treating the pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis. They tend to have a very slow onset of actions, so it may take weeks, sometimes even months, for DMARDs to be effective. But when they are they can decrease pain, decrease swelling, decrease stiffness and sometimes retard the progression of the disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.