Medications for RA and how they can affect the feet

Medication, in controlling the RA can help with foot health, but some medications can also affect the skin and underlying tissues, which can make the feet more susceptible to infection.


Some medications used to treat RA such as steroids, DMARDs (such as methotrexate, sulfasalazine, leflunomide, azathioprine, penicillamine and injectable gold) and the biologic drugs (such as etanercept, abatacept infliximab, adalimumab, golimumab, certolizumab-pegol, tocilizumab and rituximab) can also have an effect on the skin and underlying tissues, making them more vulnerable to damage and infection. It is important that anyone that looks after your feet is aware of all the medications that you are taking so that they can manage any potential problems appropriately.

If you develop any signs of infection in your feet such as localised redness, swelling, increased pain and pus coming from a wound, break in the skin or in-growing toenail, for example, you should notify your rheumatology health care practitioner and /or rheumatologist as a matter of urgency.