Drug Discovery pp 235-247 | Cite as


  • Robert A. Maxwell
  • Shohreh B. Eckhardt


The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown and, therefore, therapy remains empirical. Nevertheless, therapeutic advances have taken place in this field, as exemplified by antirheumatic drugs such as gold salts, hydroxychloroquine, and d-penicillamine (Dugowson and Gilliland, 1986). These agents are variously referred to as “slowacting antiinflammatory drugs,” “disease-modifying drugs,” “remission-inducing drugs,” and “second-line drugs.” Lipsky (1985) considered none of these terms to be entirely accurate. However, since all members of this group elicited some clinical, serologic, and, occasionally, radiographic signs of improvement in rheumatoid arthritis, and induction of true remission was very rare, the term “disease-modifying drugs” (DMARDs) seemed the most accurate label. The capacity of DMARDs to act slowly to modify the rate of progression of rheumatoid arthritis sets them apart from non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which produce prompt clinical alleviation of pain and inflammation, but do not modify the course of the disease.


Rheumatoid Arthritis Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Antimalarial Drug Antimalarial Agent Lean Body Weight 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Maxwell
    • 1
  • Shohreh B. Eckhardt
    • 2
  1. 1.The Wellcome Research Laboratories ResearchTriangle ParkUSA
  2. 2.University of Vermont College of MedicineBurlingtonUSA

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