Understand RA biologic treatment options.

Learn about the different prescription medicines available, including Roche medicines.

RA biologic
treatment options »
Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers stroll a New Zealand beach

Your Treatment

Goals of Treatment+

Setting goals can help you keep track of how well your treatment is working for you. Goals might include feeling less pain and fatigue, or perhaps they are more to do with day-to-day life - such as being able to chop vegetables, drive a car, or take up a hobby again. You know your body best, so work closely with your doctor to set your own goals for your RA treatment.

How Well is Your Treatment Working For You?+

As the progression and severity of RA is different for everyone, it is important that you are on the kind of treatment that suits you best. This will depend on your medical history, the severity and progression of your RA, and your personal needs and lifestyle. Your rheumatologist should consider all of this when prescribing treatment.

Finding the best treatment may be a process of trial and error. You may be taking medication already, and it may not work as well as it used to. Or you may be on a new treatment that hasn’t worked as well as you hoped. While it’s normal to feel frustrated, don't give up hope. Work through the questions below with your doctor to work out the best treatment for you:

  • Do you still experience pain with your current treatment?
  • How do you feel now - physically and emotionally - compared to when you first started your current treatment?
  • If you still experience pain, do you think you could be getting more relief?
  • Are you now able to perform everyday tasks that you couldn’t do before?

The key to finding the right treatment for you is tracking the symptoms of your RA and talking about how effective you feel your treatment is with your doctor.

Additional Resources +

Self Assessment Tool. Use our interactive Self Assessment Tool to track joint tenderness and swelling, pain and fatigue over time. You can then see how well your treatment it working for you. You can also send your results directly to your nurse specialist.

Appointment Checklist. Good communication with your doctor can improve your health care. All questions are powerful and help build understanding. The more questions you ask, the more you will know your RA and the more control you will have over it. Click here to read and download a printable question checklist that you can take with you to your appointment.

Questions to Ask Your Medical Team. Going to see your doctor or nurse can be a little scary, especially if you are worried they might not ‘get’ what you’ve been going through. Use some of the questions below to help get your point across. You can also send your nurse the results of your Self Assessment Tool ahead of time, so they can see what’s been happening for you. Don’t be afraid to ask general questions about RA too, your medical team is there to help.

  • How does RA affect my body?
  • What will happen to my joints over time?
  • What will my quality of life be?
  • What sort of advice do you have for me on how to manage:
    • My pain
    • My fatigue
    • Swelling
    • My lifestyle …?
  • What sort of treatment do you think will work best for me?
  • How does this treatment work in my body?
  • How long will it be before I start to notice changes from taking this treatment?
  • What sort of lab tests/blood tests will I need to have?
    • How often should I have these?
    • Will you remind me to have them, or should I put them in my diary now?
  • How will I know if my treatment isn’t working? What should I do?
  • What sort of side effects are possible from my treatment?
    • What can I do about these side effects?
  • Is there anything I should avoid while taking my treatment?
  • Should I tell other doctors that I’m taking RA treatment?
  • How often should I make an appointment to see you?
    • How can I change this appointment if I need to see you sooner?
  • If my current treatment isn’t working what other treatment options are available?

Click here to download this discussion guide as a PDF to print and take to your appointment. It includes a space to write your own questions.

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