Although disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the selection of agents in the case of relapse (escape phenomenon) lacks clear-cut standards. We compared the effectiveness in a salazosulfapyridine and then methotrexate (SASP-->MTX) group with that in the mothotrexate (SASP+MTX) group after escape phenomenon expression in C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) data. Outpatients of the Matsubara Mayflower Hospital with a history of DMARD administration during the 4 years prior to May 2003 were studied. The CRP level in the SASP-->MTX group (n=8) after the escape phenomenon expression showed a decline after 3 months, but no decline was seen even after 3 months the two in the CRP level in the SASP+MTX group (n=10). However, the difference between groups was not significant. The fluctuation in ESR was similar to that in CRP. However, ESR was significantly lower in the SASP-->MTX group 20 weeks after escape phenomenon expression. In evaluating treatment effectiveness after escape phenomenon expression in each group, SASP-->MTX was effective in 10 and SASP+MTX in 7 patients. Side effects necessitated cessation of treatment in 1 patient in the SASP-->MTX group. Treatment continued in 4 patients in the SASP-->MTX group and 2 in the SASP+MTX group, even though side effects occurred. It should be borne in mind that combination therapy often has greater clinical benefit than single agent therapy but not always.