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Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug May Top Old Drug

A newer drug improved symptoms for more people than the usual drug given first to people with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers report. Methotrexate, an old drug, is typically what people receive first when diagnosed with this disease. A newer drug, tofacitinib, helps to reduce inflammation in this disease. It works in a different way than methotrexate. The new study included 956 people with rheumatoid arthritis. They had not yet been treated with methotrexate. They were randomly divided into 3 groups. One group received methotrexate. The others took tofacitinib, in different doses. After 6 months, signs and symptoms of the disease had improved more in the groups receiving tofacitinib. About 26% of those taking the smaller dose and 38% of those taking the larger dose had at least a 70% improvement. About 12% of those taking methotrexate improved that much.

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