Rheumatoid arthritis: reading & resources

The webinar forms part of our health professional educational program – Rheumatoid arthritis: getting the facts straight about methotrexate. Co-designed by NPS MedicineWise and the Australian Rheumatology Association, the program aims to improve the quality of life for people with rheumatoid arthritis through early investigation, diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


Webinar slide deck

The webinar presents a clinical scenario in case-study format to help facilitate the discussion and prompt participants to reflect on their individual practice and counselling of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. 

Download webinar slides PDF

Date published : 17 April 2018


Background information

Medicinewise News: Shared care approaches to rheumatoid arthritis

An older woman's hands, showing damage from rheumatoid arthritis, holding a green apple.

The use of DMARDs, with methotrexate as the backbone of the treatment, has revolutionised rheumatoid arthritis management, but there is still room to maximise the benefit.

Read the full article


Australian Prescriber: Managing the drug treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Australian Prescriber logo

Patients with suspected rheumatoid arthritis should be referred promptly. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are often used in combination and can have serious adverse effects. Their safe use requires ongoing monitoring.

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BMJ: Diagnosis and early management of inflammatory arthritis

Early diagnosis and treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS) and corticosteroids improves function and symptomatic and radiographic outcomes. Prescription and monitoring of DMARDs can be shared between specialists and non-specialists if pathways and communication are clear. Specialists are best placed to guide changes in DMARDS or corticosteroid treatment. 

Read the full article

MJA: Nocebo effects in practice – methotrexate myths and misconceptions

There are several methotrexate 'myths' that may be believed by patients and health professionals, and propagated through word of mouth, information in print or on the internet. Providing patients with accurate information will help overcome obstacles to the use of an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. 

Read the full article


Shared care and prescribing

Notes for prescribers of low-dose once weekly methotrexate (Australian Rheumatology Association and Arthritis Australia)

Low dose once weekly methotrexate is the “gold standard” disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) to treat rheumatoid arthritis, other inflammatory arthritis and other autoimmune conditions.

Read the full article

MTX Shared care letter

Structured collaboration between patients, GPs, rheumatologists and other healthcare professionals can support an earlier start to treatment, better adherence and better outcomes. We provide an example of a shared care referral letter. Reproduced with permission.

Date published : 12 April 2018


For your patients

Patient information on methotrexate (Australian Rheumatology Association and Arthritis Australia)

Includes important information about how you should take methotrexate, possible side effects, tests and monitoring and other precautions when taking methotrexate. 

Read the full article

Patient information on self-injecting low-dose methotrexate for the treatment of arthritis (Australian Rheumatology Association and Arthritis Australia)

For people who have been recommended injections of methotrexate as a treatment for arthritis. Includes information about how patients and their family, friends or carers can safely inject methotrexate, the steps to follow and the equipment needed. 

Read the full article

How to give yourself an injection of methotrexate (video)

Low-dose once-weekly methotrexate via a subcutaneous injection can be more effective and/or have less side effects than a once-a-week tablet. 

Watch this video

NPS MedicineWise: Patient action plan

An interactive tool that supports discussions between health professionals and patients starting low-dose once-weekly methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis. 

Download patient action plan

MedicineWise app

Keep track of your medicines and access important health info anytime and anywhere. Users of the MedicineWise app who have rheumatoid arthritis and are taking low-dose methotrexate have access to fact sheets and videos about managing their medicine(s). They will receive notifications via the app to promote the use of folic acid and the value of flu vaccinations and annual skin checks. The app allows you to set dose reminders and record tests, measurements, allergies and reactions. 

Find out more about the app

Rheumatoid arthritis information sheet (Arthritis Australia and Australian Rheumatology Association)

General information to help patients understand how they may be affected and why early treatment is important. Includes how to manage rheumatoid arthritis and where to go for further information. 

Read the information sheet

Blood tests for arthritis (Arthritis Australia and Australian Rheumatology Association)

A general description of some of the blood tests commonly used to diagnose different types of arthritis.

Read the information sheet

Medicines and arthritis (Arthritis Australia and Australian Rheumatology Association)

General information about the main types of medicines used for arthritis. It also gives tips on the safe use of medicines and where to go for further information. 

Read the full article

Empowered website

A website by Arthritis Australia bringing together a range of resources for people living with arthritis, including personal stories and information from rheumatologists, general practitioners and allied health supporters. 

Go to Empowered website