Because there is no cure for most rheumatic diseases such as RA or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the goal of treatment is to put the disease into remission. Drugs having some ability to do this are known as DMARDs. To be designated a DMARD, a drug must change the course of the disease for at least 1 year as evidenced by one of the following: sustained improvement in physical function, decreased inflammatory synovitis, slowing or prevention of structural joint damage. There are three general classes of DMARDs used in rheumatology:

  • • Conventional synthetic DMARDs (csDMARDs):
  • • Target synthetic DMARDs: apremilast, JAK inhibitors: 
  • • Biologic DMARDs (bDMARDs): 

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