Advanced arthritis drug may ease early symptoms

June 16, 2009 2:41:34 PM PDT
A drug used for advanced arthritis may also help thousands of people with early signs of the disease. Trials show Rituximab almost completely halts the deterioration of joints in people with early stage rheumatoid arthritis.

Research on more than 750 patients shows the drug, when used with methotrexate for a year, not only reduces symptoms but slows joint damage to almost a complete stop if used early enough.

Experts say the findings presented at the EULAR Conference could lead to a shift in treatment.