Rheumatoid arthritis can be treated using chemotherapy. Unlike cancer in which chemotherapy suppresses or stops the production of cancerous cells, in arthritis, it alleviates the abnormal behaviour of cells rather than destroying them. The doses prescribed for chemotherapy treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are lower in number and amount than what is prescribed to cancer patients. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and chemotherapy helps in reducing metabolic processes produced by overactive cells that cause an inflammatory reaction of the joints.
although the chemotherapeutic doses used for treating arthritis are comparatively lower than drugs used to cure cancer, the side-effects of drugs used for treating arthritis are common.
A patient of rheumatoid arthritis requires weeks to months to get complete benefits of chemotherapy. The drugs may be used for a prolonged period, however, the patient needs to be monitored for any side-effects.
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