4 Recommendations for Treating Fatigue in RA

June 25, 2020

There are many treatments and strategies to address fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, but no one approach works for all patients. In this slideshow, we highlight key takeaways from a recent review that highlights key strategies for treating fatigue in RA.

Most rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients will experience bouts of fatigue throughout the course of their disease. It can range from mild to severe and for some patients, it can be debilitating. For RA patients with fatigue, there is no clear path to recovery, experts say.

One analysis cited in a review published in RMD Open last month stated that fatigue is usually an issue for most patients, even those with low disease activity. At least 40% of RA patients will experience severe fatigue at some point, wrote Janet E. Pope, M.D., MPH, FRCPC, a professor of medicine in rheumatology at the University of Western Ontario.

Fatigue is most often associated with chronic pain, which can lead to poor sleep and depression. It is also most prevalent among patients who are obese or have multiple comorbidities.

There are many treatments and strategies to address fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis patients, but no one approach works for all patients. For some patients, fatigue is a constant. To date, according to the review, the best treatments remain resolving chronic pain, improving sleep, exercise, and addressing mental health issues.

In this slideshow, we highlight key takeaways from the review.

REFERENCE

Pope JE. “Management of Fatigue in Rheumatoid Arthritis.” RMD Open. May 2020. doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2019-001084