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Can I reduce my medicines for rheumatoid arthritis?

Q: I am a 35 years old female weighing 70 kg. I am suffering from seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. I am taking treatment for the last six months. My pain is now just left 5% but I am tense about side effects of the drugs suggested / prescribed. I want to know till how much time will my treatment continue and whether I can decrease amount of medicines. Please suggest.

A:If you are already under the treatment of a rheumatologist, it would be highly advisable to directly talk to him / her about the issues that you have raised about the adverse effects of the medicines being given to you. In general, for diseases that are 'chronic' for example diabetes, high blood pressure etc. medicines are given life-time to keep the disease under proper control. By doing so, the person does NOT get any side-effects of the disease. Moreover, those medicines that control diseases are highly safe and the treating doctor would know exactly how to ensure that there are no adverse effects, even in the long run. Similarly, in rheumatoid arthritis also, the medicines given would prevent any adverse effect of the disease on your body. Your doctor would ensure that you do not get any adverse effects of the medicines even if you take it for life-time. Of course it is of utmost importance that you keep your appointments with the treating rheumatologist and regularly meet him / her to ensure that all is well.

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