Clinical Edge

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Patients favor biologic rheumatoid arthritis medications on social media

Key clinical point: English-language social media posts generally favor biologic/targeted synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (b/tsDMARDs) over conventional synthetic agents (csDMARDs).

Major finding: Overall, the ratio of positive to negative social media posts was higher for b/tsDMARDs, compared with csDMARDs (1.210 vs. 1.048); efficacy or lack thereof was the most common reason behind either a positive or negative sentiment, followed by the absence of side effects in positive comments and the presence of side effects in negative comments.

Study details: The data come from a computer algorithm analysis of 54,742 social media posts about DMARDs in the context of rheumatoid arthritis; each post was analyzed for positive and negative sentiment with a focus specifically on efficacy and side effects.

Disclosures: The study was supported by Arthritis Australia. The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.


Sharma C et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 2020 Sept 3. doi: 10.1136/ annrheumdis-2020-217333.