The rheumatoid arthritis treatment that’s effective for you today may not always provide relief. Know when to talk to your doctor about a treatment change.Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be tricky — what’s worked for you in the past may not always keep your arthritis treatment under control. In fact, it’s fairly common to need an occasional change in your arthritis treatment plan, whether it’s a switch within a drug class or a step up from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or biologic DMARDs.

Here are five signs that it may be time to talk to your doctor about making a change in your arthritis treatment:

1. You’re having a flare. Some people with RA experience periods in which their symptoms — such as stiff, swollen joints and fatigue — temporarily worsen. This can be due to stress, another illness, or sometimes no reason at all, according to the Arthritis Foundation. When this happens, your doctor may add corticosteroids — drugs that decrease inflammation — to your arthritis treatment plan, or increase the dosage of your current medication.

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