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Monitoring RA

RA is a complex condition to diagnose, treat and manage and requires a continual level of ongoing monitoring.

Imaging techniques, such as x-ray or ultrasound, can give insight into how active RA is, as well as checking for any signs of damage caused by the RA and other complications.

People with RA will often require regular blood tests. Some blood tests monitor how active the RA is, which can also suggest how well the medications are working. Others monitor for potential side effects of the medication. Patients can also help to monitor for side effects and can report any side effects they experience through the ‘Yellow card’ scheme. This helps future patients by increasing the level of information that is known about each drug and its potential side effects.

Deciding how often any monitoring should be performed and the best, most reliable ways to monitor is important for patients and their doctors.  Models of best practice are therefore included in guidelines, designed to give healthcare professionals the most up-to-date information known on the best ways to treat patients.

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