Safety of long-term use of four common conventional disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs in rheumatoid arthritis

Conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have been used in the management of rheumatoid arthritis for a long time. Whereas methotrexate (MTX) is the anchor drug, leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine are used along with MTX either in combination or sequentially. Together these four drugs are the most commonly used DMARDs. They are also used in combination with biological DMARDs (bDMARDs) to enhance their efficacy and MTX in particular to reduce antibodies against anti-tumour necrosis factor.