Adalimumab for early rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects 1% of the population and can result in joint destruction, reduced quality of life and function, loss of work productivity and, in severe cases, early mortality. Recent advances with optimal therapeutic strategies, including early initiation of treatment, tight control of the disease activity aiming for remission of the disease and the advent of biological therapies, have led to improved outcomes for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. It is generally agreed that the best outcomes for patients with rheumatoid arthritis occur when treatment is started early. Adalimumab is a new fully humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the adverse effects of excess TNF-alpha. New studies using this agent early in the course of rheumatoid arthritis indicate superior rates of remission for patients with this disease.