Care at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Getting treatment during the early stages of RA is critical. The goal is to halt the disease’s progression and help you avoid joint erosion.

Our comprehensive treatment options focus on pain relief, inflammation reduction, slowing or stopping joint damage, and improving your quality of life. We participate in clinical trials for RA, which can provide access to treatments not available elsewhere.

Treatments

At your first visit, patients should expect us to review records from previous physicians including any laboratory tests or imaging studies. 

We then do a complete history and physical exam, and work with you to create a personalized plan to treat your RA.

Our multidisciplinary approach includes established treatments as well as highly effective drugs that have emerged in recent years.

Treatment often involves a combination of medication, rest, exercise, joint protection, and physical and occupational therapy.

Medications include those that reduce symptoms, such as:

  • NSAIDs and aspirin
  • Analgesics
  • Glucocorticoids

We may also prescribe medications that modify the disease, such as:

  • Methotrexate
  • Leflunomide
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Azathioprine
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Cyclosporine

Newer biologic medications, such as infliximab, etanercept, adalimumab, abatacept and tocilizumab may be also very effective.

Surgery is available through our colleagues in the Department of Orthopaedics for patients who have damaged and painful joints.

Departments

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis involves interdisciplinary care from several departments, including:

Locations

Our clinics are located at:

Groups, Classes & Support

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Learn more about our support groups offered at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Research & Clinical Trials

We conduct research in rheumatoid arthritis and may offer to patients participation in observational or treatment protocols.

To see all clinical trials and learn how to volunteer, visit StudyFinder.

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Outlook

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease. In this disease, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.

Please visit of Health Information Library for more information.

We can help

If you have a question or want to schedule an appointment, call

800-243-1455.