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Is my wife getting the right treatment for arthritis?

Q: My 55-year-old wife is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for the last 15 years. I tried all types of medicines. For the last five years, she is on allopathic treatment, and has been cured by more than 90 per cent, though she has to take medicines daily. She has HCQS, folitrex and voveran more frequently than other medicines. Is the intake of HCQS harmful for her health?

A:I would like to point out 3 important points regarding your query as follows:

  • There is a widespread misinformation - mostly among doctors who have not kept up with the latest advances in medicine - that rheumatoid arthritis has no treatment. This is why the correct treatment gets very much delayed causing permanent damage in joints. Also, persistent disease activity has long-term ill effects on general health. Your wife seems to have gone through the same problem of delay in appropriate treatment. I am happy that, although very much delayed, she is finally on correct treatment.
  • The medicines that you have mentioned are the standard medicines for rheumatoid arthritis extensively studied and scientifically proven to be highly effective in controlling the disease activity. The only provision is that she must be under the care and follow-up of a rheumatologist. This is necessary because rheumatologists are very much aware of what dose of medicines to be used, how long to use them and how to ensure that the patient does not get any adverse effects of the medicines.
  • Hydroxychloroquine is among the safest medicines known to human beings. However, your treating rheumatologist is the best person to discuss this issue with.

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