November 24, 2015
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Reactive Arthritis (cont.)

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What is the prognosis of reactive arthritis?

The outlook for reactive arthritis is generally very good. Today, there are many effective treatments. The outlook is best when the disease is diagnosed and treated aggressively early on. When a specific cause is identified and eradicated, it is sometimes possible to completely cure reactive arthritis. Complications, such as eye, skin, or prostate disease, can require comanagement with appropriate specialists.

Can reactive arthritis be prevented?

Yes. Reactive arthritis can be prevented, to some extent, by avoiding sexual promiscuity and by not contracting dysentery.

What does the future hold for reactive arthritis?

In the future, new medications will be developed that are more specific in the treatment of reactive arthritis. Trials with long-term antibiotic treatment are under way, and it is possible that these may be especially effective in reactive arthritis that is associated with chlamydia infection.

The TNF-blockers, such as etanercept (Enbrel) and infliximab (Remicade), have potential for treating severe, resistant reactive arthritis. These drugs may improve both the joint and non-joint areas of inflammation. Further studies of these drugs are under way.

For further information about reactive arthritis, please visit the following site: Yersinia.

You can also contact:

The Arthritis Foundation
P.O. Box 19000
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
or contact your local chapter

National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Clearinghouse
Bethesda, Maryland 20892

Medically reviewed by Kirkwood Johnston, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Rheumatology


Fauci, A.S., and C.A. Langford. Harrison's Rheumatology. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing, 2006.

Koopman, William, et al., eds. Clinical Primer of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.

Ruddy, Shaun, et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 2000.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/23/2014



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