Personalising treatment plans
It can be difficult to find a medication that works best for you. Each person will respond differently to each drug.
Personalising Treatment Plans
Dr. Irwin Lim
Choosing a medication to use to try to control the inflammatory arthritis can be actually quite difficult. While we have kind of cookbook formulas that we have tried and trusted, rheumatologists do understand that the same medication may not work for all patients. It’s important for you as a patient to realise that there are alternatives. It is important for you as a patient to actually tell your rheumatologist how you feel about that medication, about any side effects you may be experiencing, so that you can negotiate better solution. Because there are always alternatives.
Suzie Edward May
Member, Arthritis Australia National Consumer Reference Group (rheumatoid arthritis)
Author of ‘Arthritis, pregnancy and the path to parenthood’
Treatment is, it’s an ongoing process and each person is going to respond differently to different medications. It’s not just about finding the drug that you’re going to stay on through your arthritis journey. It’s about changing and adapting and bringing in other medications and supporting your core medications over your arthritis journey. It’s important to work closely with your rheumatologist so that both the rheumatologist and yourself can get to a point where you can recognise when it’s important to change medications. When perhaps your disease is not being managed or controlled as well as it could be.
Member, Arthritis Australia National Consumer Reference Group (Ankylosing spondylitis)
Medication for me I see is just as part of the whole process. As I see them they’re just a platform to work from. You can’t rely on them solely but you do need them as part of your care. For me personally they’ve been like a real jumpstart of my progress in terms of just alleviating a lot of the symptoms and allowing me to go out and be active and look after my body to manage the condition and without them I wouldn’t be in the space I am. But I don’t see them as the be all and end all as I mentioned before. You’ve got to look at them as part of the package.
Retired teacher, cycling enthusiast
This arthritis is manageable but I’d like to stress the point that it’s not just manageable by medication. I regard the medication as being something that helps me but you got to help yourself. If you’re overweight and you’re unfit and you’re relying upon some drug to give you a quality of life, then it’s not going to happen.
Initial GP visit
Key questions & history taking
Piecing the symptoms together
Referral to rheumatologist
Visiting Physio or GP
What is a rheumatologist?
Preparing for first consultation
Questions rheumatologists will ask
Tests rheumatologists may conduct
Your online research
Rheumatologists can help
Tips and suggestions
Living well with arthritis
Next steps after diagnosis
Reaction to diagnosis
Finding a supportive environment
Working to achieve your goals
Working with your rheumatologist
Developing a working relationship
Personalising treatment plans
Lifestyle management sleep & smoking
Lifestyle management exercise
What is adherence
Finding the right treatment
Understanding side effects
Side effects vs benefits
Risk of avoiding medications
Importance of monitoring side effects
Considering the immune system
Introduction to methotrexate
Methotrexate compared with chemotherapy
Methotrexate early side effects
Introduction to biological treatment
Ankylosing spondylitis & biologics
Moving to biological treatment
Biologics are they for you?
Finding the best biological treatment
Treatment disease modifying drugs
Other treatment options biologics