b/tsDMARDs – a new guide for GPs

2 minute read

The ARA has launched a straightforward guide to help GPs navigate the complex area of these highly specialised drugs.

The Australian Rheumatology Association (ARA) has published a new GP guide to biologic and targeted synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (b/tsDMARDs).

The guide is designed to support GPs in understanding and navigating the complexities of biologics, and is available on the ARA website.

It outlines information about assessment and pathology, risk of infection, potential adverse effects and considerations for special situations including pregnancy, impending surgery and malignancy.

There’s also information on reporting requirements if a patient discontinues the medication.

In recognising the crucial role of the GP in the shared care of rheumatology patients, the guide also outlines general management responsibilities for the GP.

These include encouraging the patient to stick to appointments, take their medicines, complete required blood tests and undergo cancer screening as appropriate; conducting cardiovascular risk review; and advising patients on medicine storage.

There’s also information on special considerations regarding vaccinations and the concurrent use of b/tsDMARDs.

“The ARA recognises the important and vital role GPs play in coordinating the care of adult and paediatric rheumatic disease patients,” said Dr Amy Kelly, chair of the ARA Clinical Resources Committee which produced the guide.

“We encourage all rheumatologists to alert GPs to this valuable resource so that we can, together, improve outcomes for our rheumatic disease patients.”

Biologic and targeted synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (b/tsDMARDs) – A guide for GPs (Australian Rheumatology Association, July 2023)

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