Biologics for RA: Connecting With Others

When you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and take a biologic, the best source of daily-life advice, coping tips, and comfort may be people who are in the same boat.

People with RA say they like to connect with other patients in online support groups to share frank talk about daily life with their disease, including how they manage their medications. But some point out that it’s important not to use these groups as a source of medical information.

Feel Like Part of a Community

“Connecting with other RA patients can give you emotional support and a feeling of empowerment, too. It breeds a sense of camaraderie among all of us,” says Amy Barron, who takes a biologic for her RA and lives in Cincinnati.

Barron connects with others with RA through the American College of Rheumatology’s Advocates for Arthritis volunteer group. In private social media chats, she often answers questions from people who are new to life with RA and to taking a biologic.

“One young mom was having problems getting her child out of the car seat, so I was able to make some suggestions,” says Barron, a registered nurse. “Other people say they have difficulty cleaning their bathroom.

“Some people talk about being scared to go on a biologic because they’re worried about side effects. I tell them that if you don’t go on a biologic, the damage to your joints from RA could be even worse.”

She says the fact that she has RA herself helps them to bond. “Just knowing that you have rheumatoid arthritis, too, helps them feel more confident about it,” she says.

People with RA might only see their rheumatologist every few months. They may turn to peers to talk about their experiences because they “really get the realities” of everyday life with RA, says Cheryl Crow, an occupational

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